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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: CITIBANK <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2021 07:13:37 +0100
WELCOME TO CITIBANK
153 EAST 53RD STREET,16/F, ZONE 19, NEW YORK , NY 10022
This message is in regard to your ATM master card for your
compensation fund sum of US$45,000,000.00
Your email contact details was given to this office in respect of your
total inherited/compensation sum owed to you which you have failed to
claim because of either non-compliance of official processes or
because of your unbelief of the reality of your genuine payment,You are hereby
notified that your inheritance/contract payment of US$ 45,000,000.00
has been approved to be made to you via Citibank PREPAID ATM CARD.The
ATM CARD can be used on any ATM machine all over the world or you can
go to your bank to off-load the funds on this note, I am please to inform
you that ATM card Number 9532 5350 0029 4741 for the sum of US$45,000,000.00
which have been credited to your favor is ready for immediate delivery to you.
you are hereby required to confirm to me your present address where you want
the ATM card to be delivered, and to also send the total shipping fee
sum of $125 U.S dollars to enable me deliver the ATM card package to
you since no provision was provided to me for the delivering as the
issued Bank Citibank was not granted right of deductions on the funds.
Upon receipt of this above requirements from you I shall have your ATM
card package dispatched to you by the United postal service whom will
deliver it to you at your designated home Address.with the card you
can make withdrawals from any part of the world at ATM center near to
you. the pin and all necessary user guides will be in attached on
delivery (intact in the ATM card package doc.) which will be delivered
to you by the UPS courier service for your easy use.
You will receive the ATM card package within 24hrs that you send the
$125 U.S Dollars delivery fee to me, meanwhile I shall send the Airway
bill/tracking number to you by your very email address once the
package is dispatched so that you can track it on arrival.
You should send this Courier Delivery Fee of US$125.00 through Google
play gift card card or steam wallet gift card, Bitcoin.
Send the $125 U.S dollars delivery fee by this very above Gift card,
and I shall have the ATM card package dispatch to you without delay. I
wait for the Gift card payment confirmation of the courier fee and
your delivery information to enable your ATM card delivery proceed
I await your immediate attention.
Yours in service,
Chief Executive officer Citibank
contact email: email@example.com