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:
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- 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: Federal Ministry of Finance <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2023 12:13:11 +0100
Subject: Dear Abandoned Atm fund Beneficiary,
Dear Abandoned Atm fund Beneficiary,
This is to remind you for the second time of your ATM Master card that
was processed for your payment long time ago. I sent you this email a
couple of days ago but i did not receive your response from you,could
it be that you didn't receive the email.
Well,The card has a daily cash withdrawal limit of $100,000,00, You
can use up to $500,000.00 USD daily on POS.
You can also transfer from your new card to any account for limit of
We deposited the card with the shipping company long time ago but to
my greatest surprise they called me and complained that you abandoned
your card with them.
Is that true??? Your Atm Card is still available for shipment ,please
send us your receiving detail because of the expiry date for next
action on this payment delivery.
Get back to me urgently
Mr Mark Frances
Federal Ministry of Finance
Phone: +234 906 362 1632