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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "certified bank draft" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "BRITISH HIGH COMMISION COMPENSATION" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 19:19:50 -0300 (BRT)
The BRITISH High Commission in Benin Republic,Ghana and Burkinafaso and
Nigeria received a report of scam against you and other British/US
citizens and Maylaysia,Etc. The countries of Benin Republic, Burkinafaso
, Ghana and Nigeria have re compensated you following the meeting held
with the Four countries' Government and various countries' high commission
for the fraudulent activities carried out by the Four countries' Citizens.
Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Africa Development Bank
in collaboration with National Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU). A
compensation has been issued out in Certified Bank Drafts to all the
affected victims and has been already been in distribution to all the
bearers. Your draft was among those that was reported undelivered as at on
Friday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the
Committee to make sure you receive your draft immediately.
According to the number of applicants at hand, 184 Beneficiaries has been
paid, half of the victims are from the United States,we still have more
37 left to be paid the compensations of US$750,000 each.Your particulars
was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one of their
victims of the operations,you are hereby warned not to communicate or
duplicate this message to him for any reason whatsoever as the U.S.
secret service is already on trace of the other criminals.
So keep it secret till they are all apprehended.Other victims who have not
been contacted can submit their application as well for scrutiny and
possible consideration. NFIU further told us that the use of DHL Couriers
was abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above
mentioned courier services in Benin,Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have
made a concrete arrangement with another new Courier Company for a safe
delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the
We advise that you do the needful to make sure that Africa Development
Bank and NFIU dispatches your Draft on Friday.You are assured of the
safety of your draft and availability. Be advised that you should stop
further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in
collaboration scammed you. Get back to me immediately to check if the
delivery date suits you.
Yours in Service,
Dr Leon Yung