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:
- "million united states dollars" (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 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 Jean Clinton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 17:35:41 +0100
Subject: ATM MASTER CARD
Attention Dear Funds Beneficiary ,
We wish to officially inform you that we have Credited and configured your
Compensation fund into ATM MASTER CARD worth sum $4.5 million united states
dollars also we have concluded the delivery arrangement with the delivery
company regarding the shipment of your ATM MASTER CARD.
What you have to do now is to contact The ATM PAYMENT CENTER as soon as you
receive this E-mail with this secret code (0022-ATM)to know when you will
receive your ATM MASTER CARD.
Secondly, make sure you reconfirm your Postal address and direct telephone
number to them again to avoid any mistake on issuing your ATM MASTER CARD
to another person. Therefore,contact them immediately with their contact
address as stated below:
Contact Person: Mr James Anderson.
Contact E-mail: email@example.com
Kindly reconfirm the followings below Information to ATM PAYMENT CENTER;
1. Full Name
2. Residential Address
4. Direct Cell/Telephone Number
Therefore,you have to contact them now with this secret code (0022-ATM so
that your ATM MASTER CARD will get to you in time.
I will be waiting to hear from you as soon as you receive the ATM MASTER
Mrs Jean Clinton