fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: David Alvaro <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2021 01:03:51 -0700
Subject: DEAR BENEFICIARY,YOUR ATM VISA CARD IS NOW READY FOR PICK UP.
I David Alvaro Director general of United States Postal Service, Postal
service company (USPS) We have been waiting for you to contact us for
your parcel that has been registered with us By IMF for shipment to
your residential address. We thought that the sender gave you our
contact details. It may interest you to know that a letter is also
added to your parcel.
However, we cannot quote the content to you via email for privacy
reasons. We understand that the content of your parcel itself is an
ATM VISA CARD and after our scanning of the ATM VISA CARD it contains
$9,500,000.00, we scan this your ATM CARD due to your delaying in contacting
us, So kindly get in touch with us asap with your requested information which
was used to registered it by the IMF to our office and also for we to
be sure that we are in contact with the rightful owner of this ATM CARD.
Kindly get in touch with us asap with your full details for a security
reasons although we have your information.
4]valid ID or driver license---
Here is your ATM VISA CARD information you can't use this your ATM card
for now until we deliver it to your home address for a security reason.
1]ATM CARD NUMBER: 4342-5801-5196-5506
2]EXPIRE DATE: 10/24
For more details contact us through this email
Director General of United States Postal Service
Office Address 5675 CAROLINA BEACH RD WILMINGTON, NC 28412-3629