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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "activation fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- +447035940933 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: HSBC BANK <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2022 23:09:02 +0100
Subject: RE:YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR COLLECTION PLEASE
Foreign Remittance Department
HSBC Bank Plc
The North Colonnade,Canary
Wharf London E14 4BB London.UK
RE:YOUR ATM CARD IS READY FOR COLLECTION PLEASE
My name is Mrs Lynette Fynface the Foreign Remittance Director,of
HSBC Bank PLC, London, UK, We write to inform you that we have
approved the Issuance of a MASTER CARD ATM,/VISA CARD ATM, as
requested by our Correspondent bank" African Development Bank (ADB)
based on the advice of the United Nations/International Monetary fund,
who has instructed that all outstanding unclaimed contract/inheritance
fund, be released to all the true beneficiaries through ATM MASTER
CARDS, to avoid
frequent demands for transfer charges, documentations and activation
fees, which has delayed the remittance of your fund to your accounts
for many years now.
Therefore, part payment of $9,500, 000. (Nine Million Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars Only) has been approved and loaded into
your MASTER CARD/VISA CARD, we have forwarded your ATM CARD, to our
correspondent bank (African Development Bank (ADB)) for onward
dispatch to your door step through DHL OR FEDEX Courier Services Here
is the information you need to activate your ATM Card upon receipt.
(1) The Pin Code Number..: ( 5324)
(2) Account Number ......:0311247618
(3) Atm Card Serial Number: 714432879406
Furthermore, you have to take the ATM CARD, to any ATM Machine center
in your country and change the pin code to another four-digit numbers
of your choice and activate the card immediately, and commence
withdrawal from the card... The withdrawal limit for the day is $5,000
(Five Thousand Dollars Only)...
Meanwhile, you should reconfirm the following information
(1) Your Full Names
(2) Your Current Address
(3) Your Mobile/House phone number
The above request is necessary to avoid mistake during delivery by the
courier company, the information should be sent to our correspondent
bank African Development Bank (ADB),(Nigeria) Please note, the card
will be courier to your door step and not Registered or Normal post,
or the safety and security of the card till you receive it in your
We look forward to your prompt response
Mrs Lynette Fynface,