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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "foreign payment 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. )
- 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: ATM Center Visacard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023 23:28:43 +0100
Subject: Your ATM Master Card
This is a reminder message regarding your ATM master card for your
computational fund sum of US$(Twelve MILLION Two hundred and fifty
thousand US dollars only) approved by the Ministry of Finance. The
Foreign Payment Department of CBA has been mandated by the Federal
Ministry of Finance and the Benin National Petroleum Corporation to
handle the payment of your compensation fund of the above amount by
ATM card. Your email contact is amongs the listed beneficiaries in the
data for the sum of US$12.250,000.00. And I have been assigned by the
management of CBA to carry out delivery of the ATM card package to
you. This compensation is in compliance with IMF and World bank
directives to pacify victims of internet scam.On this note,I am
pleased to inform you that ATM card Number 4539 7978 0214 3027 for the
sum of US$12.250,000.00 has been credited in.your favor and ready for
immediate delivery to you.
You are hereby required to confirm your telephone number and present
address were you want the ATM card delivered to you. Upon receipt of
the above requirements from you I shall have your ATM card package
dispatched to you by courier service who will deliver to your
designated home address. With the ATM card, you can make withdrawals
from any part of the world at ATM center near to you. The pin and all
necessary user guides will be attached on delivery (intact in the ATM
card package doc.) which will be delivered to you by the courier
service, for you reason use.
So the Information you are required to reconfirm to the ATM OFFICE is as Follow.
(1)Your Full Name:
(2)Mobile Phone Number:
(3)Current Home Address:
(8)A Copy of Your ID For Identification.
Further instruction/directive will be sent to you on receipt of your
acknowledgment to this message.
Mr. Johnson Eze
Telephone +229 9436 7613
E-mail;( email@example.com )
free to call or text sms
Office of the deput Governor