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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: ATM CARD RELEASED <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 28 May 2022 10:56:57 +0100
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD REGISTERED WITH FEDEX
It is with gladness, i write you this message, to congratulate you on
the successful release of the sum of $21,700,000.00 (Twenty One
Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) only to you as
your entitlement fund; Credited to Online Bank ATM Card account that
was set up for you.
I have registered your ATM VISA CARD with FEDEX COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY.
Below is your Atm Card Reg Codes
Customer ID: 68388620872
Pass Code: f57s49x5a8xx56
Registration Code JKT110948G
The Metropolitan Courier is unable to complete the Delivery of your
ATM Card with the details we received from IMF, so we require some
more information in order to complete this Delivery of your ATM Card
TO YOU. E-mil:(email@example.com)
* Your Full Names:_________
* Your Country: __________
* Phone Number:__________
* Marital Status:______________
I have paid for the security fee. The only fee you have to pay is
their Delivery fee only. Please indicate the Customer ID: 68388620872
Pass Code: f57s49x5a8xx56 Registration Code JKT110948G to FEDEX, when
contacting them ask how much is their delivery fee.
Please email FEDEX immediately. As soon as this mail is received.
Thank you as FEDEX anticipates your prompt response immediately.
Mr John Dramani Mahama
Phone Number +233545582783