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:
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- +22993815688 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- +22993165876 (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:
From: "BARRY TUNDEERIC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 03:11:53 +0200
Subject: I HAVE REGISTERED YOUR PACKAGE IN TNT COMPANY
* Hello Dear,*
I have Paid the 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 $800,000.00 all the necessary arrangement of delivering the
$800,000.00 in cash was made with TNT COURIER COMPANY BENIN.
*This in the information they need to delivery your package to you.
ATTN: DR.REV DR UGO ODILI
TEl: : +229 93165876 +229-938 156 88
*Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you
immediatel they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they
need fromn you.*
*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.Your package registration number ---------EM 5507439 *
Please make sure you send this needed info to the Director general of Tnt
Courier Company Dr,Ugo Odili with the address given to you. Note. The Tnt
courier company don't know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a Box
of an Africa cloths. They don't know it contents money. this is to avoid
them delaying with the Box. don't let them know that is money that is in
that Box.I am waiting for your urgent response.
*You can even call the Director of Tnt Courier
company with this line+229 93165876
Thanks and Remain Blessed.*
SECRETARY TUNDE ERIC*