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:
- "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 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.
- +22993236193 (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "WILLIAMS BEN" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 16:17:19 +0100
Subject: Contact Them Immediately Regards your Shipment of African Cloth
I have Paid the fee for your Cheque Draft.Because the manager of Eko Bank
Benin told me that before the check will get to you that it will expire.So
itold him to cash $1.5M all the necessary arrangement of delivering the
$1.5M in cash was made with GLOBAL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY. This is the
information they need to delivery your package to you.
Name: DR.cHIDI BELLO
PHONE: ;+229 9323 61 93
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you
immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they
need from 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
Your company registration number ---------EM5697439
Please make sure you send this needed info's to the Director general of
Global Express Courier Company Dr Chidi Bello with the address given to you.
Note ;The GLOBAL EXPRESS 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 and call the director of GLOBAL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY with this
numner +229-93236193 you send them your information.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
SECRETARY WILLIAMS BEN