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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: mr Mike Spellman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2021 11:48:50 +0100
Subject: Re-Issuance of Your Upgraded ATM Debit Card Nos; 5416557102001951.(Total
Value: US$5,390,000 only. You Can Withdraw Funds Anywhere)
Card Issuer/Securities Services;
International Banking Department
ATM Regulatory & Compliance Board
Our ref: IMF/T/ATM/COMP/14-CI
Re-Issuance of Your Upgraded ATM Debit Card Nos;
5416557102001951.(Total Value: US$5,390,000 only. You Can Withdraw
The Audit & De
After we have rbt Reconciliation Commission has undertaken an
independent performance audit with the authority contained in the
IMF/World Bank Auditor-General Act 1997.
Following the performance audit for the year ended 15 November 2021,
while going through the files, we discovered that a part-payment fund;
US$5.3Million that was processed in your favor by MasterCard (ATM
Debit Card) in 2021 in the following manner and was not released to
For more detailed information concerning this payment, Contact us
with your full information's via (email@example.com) Or call at
eceived your reply, we will instruct the card issuing bank to
re-process and re-load your DEBIT cards, funds will be available on
the cards in minutes, which will be dispatched to your designated
address. We will oversee the delivery of the cards to you through our
registered and official courier. Get back to us as soon as possible.
Mr Mike Spellman