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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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.
- 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)
- position: director delivery department email: firstname.lastname@example.org private email: email@example.com (Executivemail, South Africa; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Culley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2022 08:11:04 +0200
Subject: Your ATM Visa Card Worth US$2.5 Million Dollars Is Ready For Delivery
Greeting to your family
ATM VISA CARD IS READY FOR COLLECTION*:
I wish to congratulate and inform you that after thorough review of all
unclaimed funds, lottery funds, Inheritance and Contract funds, etc. Your
long awaited fund amount of (US$2,500,000.00) Two Million Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars has been credited into an ATM Visa Card,
which you can use to withdraw your funds in any Automated Teller Machine
(ATM) cash point worldwide with maximum withdrawal of US$3,000.00 Dollars
per a day until the total amount in the ATM card is fully withdrawn.
I have waited for you to contact me regarding the ATM Card but did not hear
from you so I went and registered the ATM CARD with *Intel Express Courier
Company*, Johannesburg South Africa for onward delivery to you as I
traveled out of the country for a short Course and will only come back to
the office by end of year 2023. You are to contact the Intel Express
Courier Company as quickly as possible and confirm when they will be
delivering the Package/ATM Card to you because of the expiring date.
Furthermore, I have paid for the Delivery & Insurance Fees of the ATM CARD.
The only fee you will be required to pay to the Courier Company to deliver
the ATM CARD directly to your home Address in your country is *(US$150.00)*
only, being their *Safekeeping Fee*. I would have paid the Safekeeping Fee
to the Intel Express Courier Company but they said NO because they don't
know when you will contact them in case of demurrages. You have to contact
the Intel Express Courier Company immediately for the delivery of the ATM
CARD to you. Contact the courier Company on the below information:
*INTEL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY*
Contact Person: *Mr. Larry Williams*
Position: Director Delivery Department
Private Email: email@example.com
Telephone: +27 68 660 9969
Fax Number: +27 86 601 1421
To ensure accurate delivery, we advised that you re-confirm to them the
*1. Full Names:*
*2. Country of Origin:*
*3. Receiving Address:*
*4. Tel/Mobile Number:*
*6. Copy of your International Passport or ID card:*
Contact the Courier Company as soon as you have received this massage to
avoid further delay that could lead to cancellation of the ATM Card
delivery. Like I said, you are to pay them their *Safekeeping Fee* of
*$150.00* before the ATM Card will be delivered to you, which is
compulsory. As a security measure, please ensure to quote this
Identification Security Code: *(IEC-ATM/SA350022)* on the message subject
in your correspondence with the above office so that they can locate your
Package easily and commence delivery.
FNB Financial Services, SA