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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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)
- owoh the atm card payment manager via his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org kindly send him your information such as; 1) your full (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Barr.Juliet Adams Public Information Officer." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021 19:51:31 -0800
Subject: IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$10. MILLION ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD.
United Nation Organization
760 United Nations Plaza,
New York, NY 10017, USA.
RE: DOCKET NO. OP 292.
Our Ref: UN/BKL/STB
IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR FUND US$10. MILLION ONLY VIA ATM VISA CARD.
We wish to inform you that your payment of USD$10Million from the
United Nation Organization has been released and ready to be paid to
you via ATM VISA CARD which you will use to withdraw the US$10Million
from any ATM Machine in any part of the world.
This compensation is being made all over the world for losses/damages
as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. An instruction was given by the
Office of Presidency and United Nations (UN) and also (IMF) to
transfer the Sum of $10 Million USD through ATM Debit Card to you,
which you can use in any ATM Card cash point, Shopping mall or Banking
ATM Card terminal, You can withdraw money from your ATM Debit Card
from any ATM MACHINE location or center of your choice/nearest to you,
in any part of the world.
We have mandated Mr Martin Owoh, to issue an ATM VISA CARD and PIN#
which you will use to withdraw the fund from any ATM machine in any
part of the world but the maximum amount you can withdraw per day is
US$20,000.00. You are strongly advice immediately to contact Mr Martin
Owoh the ATM CARD PAYMENT Manager via his email address:
Kindly send him your information such as;
1) Your Full Name.
2) Your Contact Address.
3) Your Cell Phone Number.
4)Occupation and Age.
The ATM VISA CARD approval in your name has been sent to Mr Martin
Owoh and he is waiting for your above information to enable him
process and send you the CARD and PIN number without any delay. So
make sure you contact him right now with your information and tell him
that you received a message from the UNITED NATION, Instructing you to
contact him for immediate release of your fund via ATM VISA CARD.
Contact FBI via this email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not
receive this ATM VISA CARD after 72hours you contacted him. You are
warned to disregard other contact or any communication you have with
Please we are very sorry for the plight you have gone through in the
past. Thanks for adhering to this instruction and once again accept
Mrs. Barr.Juliet Adams
Public Information Officer.