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:
- "i will like you to " (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 send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "consignment " (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- 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: "Mrs Patricia Beggiato" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 05:04:46 -0700
Subject: Contact First Trust & Deposit Company
I have been waiting for you to come down here and pick your consignment but i did not hear anything from you for weeks now. I have deposited the USD$1,500,000.00 with the First Trust & Deposit Company here in Nigeria,because I traveled to Finland for a Masters Degree Course and I will not come back till the new year. I have arranged with the First Trust & Deposit Company to get your US$1,500,000.00 to you and they will be sending an International Certified ATM MASTER CARD to you and you will withdraw with it in any bank of your choice around the World. I would have deposited the funds with a Bank for transfer into your own account but the Bank procedure might be stressful.
I will like you to re-confirm your information to the First Trust & Deposit Company so that there will be no mistake with the delivery and shipment of the International Certified ATM MASTER CARD. Send the below information to the First Trust & Deposit Company.
Once again, I would have preferred the funds to be transferred to you but I make some searches about the Bank transfer and was informed that it will cost you the sum of US$4,590 to transfer the US$1,500,000.00 into your account. But I have deposited the US$1,500,000.00 to the First Trust & Deposit Company, below is the First Trust & Deposit Company contact.
Contact Agent: Mr Anuoluwa Johnson
Below is the information of the last person who received his card.
MR CHRISTOPHER J. BUECHLER
TRACKING NUMBER: 3342115663
Track it and confirm his delivery.
I have paid the delivery charges and insurance fee to the First Trust & Deposit Company. The only Money that the First Trust & Deposit Company will require from you is US$520 Dollars for demurrage. Once you can pay the US$520 Dollars to them, they will proceed and get the US$1,500,000.00 to you in your Country.
Note: When contacting the First Trust & Deposit Company, ensure to state your Full Name, Phone Number and your Address where you want them to deliver the International Certified ATM MASTER CARD to you. Also,require a copy of the Certificate of Authority for payment from them which will be presented to you as a proof of legitimacy of the transaction. The First Trust & Deposit Company will be awaiting to hear from you and get the payment to them as instructed for a swift delivery.
Mrs Patricia Beggiato