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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Barrister Karina Martinez." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2010 08:43:25 +0100
Subject: Good day !
I just want to inform you that I have deposited your ATM MASTER CARD of $950,000.00 United state dollars to the TNT Express Delivery Services here in West Africa, due to I have waited enough to hear from you to let you know the result of Volkswagen
MOTORS WORLDWIDE LTD Email Lottery Promotion held on the 30 June 2010 as part of our programs to Launch our multi million dollar office that was commissioned on 7th of July 2010 in West Africa, Nigeria. Your email was attached to ticket number
VJETTA- UK-VP990003-M4GA with draw number P93VWJ which consequently won you in the 2nd category prize, your email address was extracted from our electronic email extraction system which randomly selected Fiftteen (15) Lucky Winners of which
your email address was among one of the lucky winner. You have therefore been approved for a payout of a total sum of $950,000.00 USD which has been lodged into an ATM Card. I now decide to deposit the ATM MASTER CARD with the
TNT Express Delivery Services with your previous information as you listed it that time. I have paid to them their delivery charges & insurance coverage fee, the only fee to be paid again is their security safe keeping fee of $170 Dollars only. I would have
paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage. I will be traveling to IRAQ to see my boss and I will not come back till next month, therefore I will advise you to contact the TNT shipment Officer with
his contact information as listed below for the avoidance's of increase of their security safe keeping fee.
Note that I packaged the ATM MASTER CARD inside a magazine where nobody will notice the content, I also told the shipment officer Prof. Wale Roland that it is ordinary African magazine I want to deliver to my friend abroad to avoid further delay unless you delay to send their security safe keeping fee. Make sure you contact him through this Email Address: email@example.com
Below is the shipments officer contact information including his email address with the parcel reference number, note that without you indicating your parcel number as listed below the TNT Express Delivery Services will not listen to you they will be imagining if you want to steal another persons parcel.
Attention: Prof. Wale Roland Shipment Officer of TNT Express Delivery Services Nigeria.
Shipment Code: CPEL/OWN/9876
Parcel Number: EG2272
Also below is the information they need to deliver the ATM MASTER CARD in form of African Magazine to your address, this is to avoid wrong delivery as i already gave them your delivery address but you have to re-confirm it to them ok.
Please make sure the information is complete as they promised that once they receive their security safe keeping fee within 2 to 3 working days the magazine will arrived your door step according to the shipment officer.
Once again, the TNT Express Delivery Services do not know the content of the parcel; I registered it as an African Magazine they don't know it contains ATM MASTER CARD inside, this is to avoid them delaying
the delivery and besides I don't want you to lose your winning funds.
Your ATM MASTER CARD withdrawing access pin code number is (0114) take Note, once you receive the card you take it to any cash point around your locality and insert your ATM CARD into the machine and enter the pin code for withdrawal, the amount you are to withdrew per day is USD$5,000.00. (Five Thousand United State Dollars) each day. Also ask them on how you are to make the payment for the security fee to them so they can effect immediate delivery on your parcel.
Remain blessed and enjoy your funds.
Barrister Karina Martinez.