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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- +229930465571 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 21:12:03 +0100
I have Paid for the delivery fee for your Cheque Draft.but the manager of
Financial Trust Bank Plc Benin told me that before the check will get to
you that it will expire.So i told him to cash $950,000.00 all the necessary
arrangement of delivering the $950,000.00 in cash was made with FEDEX EXPRESS
Below is the needed information to enable them deliver your fund to you
immediately. the only fee you have to pay them is $85 usd that they will
use to obtain insurance certificate and claims of affadvite that will prove
that the parcel that consist total sum of $950.000.00 belong to you be
rest assure that all other fees have been paid by me.
FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY
1.YOUR FULL NAME__________________________________
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS_______________________________
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER_______________
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE____________________
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE__________________________
6.COMPANY REGISTRATION NO__________________________4152HGMEXW
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr Alex Agu