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)
- "atm card department" (this phrase is often used in the ATM card payment scam)
- 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 RUTH CINDY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2022 10:38:24 +0100
Subject: DEAR FRIEND,
MY NAME IS MRS RUTH CINDY,I AM NEWLY APPOINTED MANAGER ATM CARD
DEPARTMENT OF UBA bANK NIGERIAN REPUBLIC, I STARTED WORKING HERE THIS
MARCH 2022 AS A NEW MANAGER AND NOW I ABLE TO DISCOVER YOUR PAYMENT
FILE OF PREVIOUS YEARS WHICH WAS CONTROLLED BY SACKED BANKER SO PLEASE
TRY TO UNDERSTAND ME IF YOU ARE THE REAL BENEFICIARY OF THIS $8.5
MILLION,THE $64.00 DOLLARS REQUEST FROM YOU IS TO DELIVER YOUR ATM
VISA CARD TO YOUR HOME ADDRESS
WE ARE VERY SORRY FOR WHAT YOU HAVE PASS THROUGH IN ORDER TO RECEIVE
THIS FUND IN THE PASS YEARS DUE TO THE CHARACTERS OF THOSE WHO WORKED
IN THIS BANK FOR SOME YEARS AGO, NOW THE BANK HAVE RETIRED THOSE OLD
WORKERS,THIS IS THE BONUS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRANSACTIONS IN
THIS BANK AND OUR GOVERNMENT HAVE INSTRUCTED US TO TRANSFER YOUR
$8.5MILLION USD TO YOU BY ISSUED AN ATM VISA CARD AND I'M INSURING YOU
THAT ONCE YOU SEND THE $64.00 YOUR ATM CARD WILL BE DELIVER TO
YOU,RESPOND BACK TO US SO WE CAN GIVE YOU THE INFORMATION TO SEND THE
RECONFIRM THESE BELOW INFORMATION SUCH AS:
1) FULL NAME_________
2) HOME ADDRESS_________
4) PHONE NUMBER______
5) COUNTRY ____________
MRS RUTH CINDY
E-MAIL ( email@example.com )