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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Katherine Pascal" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2021 05:39:48 -0800
Subject: ATM VISA CARD
Hello my Dear Friend,
Greetings from Mrs. Katherine Pascal, I am very happy to inform you
about our success in getting those funds transferred to a Benin
Account with the co-operation of a new friend from Benin who is an
international businessman based in the Benin Republic.
Presently I am in India for my cancer operation the doctors told me
that I have little chance to survive this operation. but I am happy
because my friend has already started the investment projects as I
told him. To build orphanages around the world, Now I want to notify
you that I have deposited some funds ($500,000 USD) for your
compensation with Barclays Bank which then issued an ATM card in your
name and kept it for you as I have instructed them.
Now you have to Contact Pastor John, on his contact below as he is the
person in charge of your ATM card, just send him an email that I am
the one that directed you to contact him in respect of your ATM card.
Contact him through E-mail:
CONTACT NAME: Pastor John
TEL NUMBER: +229 99776822
And you should not hesitate to let me know whenever you receive your
ATM card and start withdrawing with it. Although I am very weak now
because of my condition, I will soon have my surgery. Do pray for me.
1.Your Id card or International passport.....
2.Your Full name.............
3.Your whats App number................
4.Your residential Address
Mrs. Katherine Pascal.