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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (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 ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- "registration 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 ever send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally. )
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- +229931461971 (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "IJEOMA EMEKA" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2008 11:41:46 +0200
Subject: Contact the Company Immediately.
I am very happy to inform you about my surcess regarding the arrangment for
the delivery of your Bank Draft but the manager of Eko Bank told me that
before the check will get to you that it will expire so i told him to
cash the $2.5, 000.00 United State Dollars.
All the delivery arrangement of the $2.5,000.00 in cash has been made with
Fedex courier COMPANY and i have paid for the delivery fee together with the
registration fee which cost me $620 except from the insurance fee $250 which
you are to send to the FEDEX COURIER COMPANY to enable them carry out the
Contact them with the bellow information and they will instruct you where to
send the $250 to them,do comply with them and let me know when you recieve
Name: DR.FIDELIS ORJI
Phone: 00229 931 461 97
1.YOUR FULL NAME:-------
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS:----
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER:-----
4.MOBILE PHONE NUMBER:----
5.A COPY OF Y OUR PICTURE:---