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.
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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:
- "million 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Scott Martins" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2023 04:29:57 -0800
Subject: ATM CARD PAYMENT!!!
Be inform that we have been authorized by the United Nations debt
reconciliation unit, to release your approved compensation and award
of four million five hundred thousand dollars $4,500,000.00 usd,
however, for security reasons, your compensation funds of
$4,500,000.00 usd. has been loaded in atm visa card and this will
enable only you to have direct control over your funds.you are advice
to contact our director of atm card payment center Mr. Donald
Lucas.and request him to send your atm card to you.
Contact him through the below stated information and forward your
personal details to him.
contact person: Mr. Donald Lucas
phone number: +229 59799795
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to send him your full information as required below to avoid
wrongful delivery such as:
Note: that the amount to be paid to you is ( $4.5 million united
states dollars ) we expect your urgent response to this email to
enable us monitor the payment effectively.