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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "insurance 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 ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- +229938 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 10:20:39 +0100
I have Paid for the delivery fee for your Cheque Draft.but the
manager of Eko Bank Benin told me that before the check will get to
you that it will expire.So i told him to cash $850.000.00 all the
necessary arrangement of delivering the $850.000.00 in cash was made
with FEDEX COURIER COMPANY PLC.
Be inform that there are some documents to be secured.The only fee
you have to send to them is $100 usd which will serve as the insurance
fee and claims of affadvite to enable them deliver the parcel to you
Do contact them and let me know when you have recieve your fund,
below is the needed information to enable them deliver your fund to
COMPANY DIRETOR NAME: DR. GODWIN DUWELL
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm the following infomation to them again
to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and ask them to give you the tracking
number to enable you track your package over there and know when it will
get to your address.
The infomations are;
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
5.CURRENT MAILING ADDRESS
Do let me know immediately you receive your consignment that consisty
Our fund that i deposited in the fedex courier company so that we
can share the joy togerther.
Barr Barry Ikeri