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:
- "clearance 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. )
- "the 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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: everest goodluck <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 14:04:27 +0000
Subject: STOP SPENDING YOUR MONEY AND RECEIVE YOUR FUND NOW............
Good day my friend.
I want inform you that your inheritance payment file was brought to my desk yesterday evening 3;30pm GMT for verification, I would have contacted you that same yesterday but due to my official meeting I couldnt contact you.
During my verification concerning your communications with people in regard to your fund, I find out that people has been collecting your hard earn money, promising to pay you but all fail, but keep on asking you for money.
I want to make this clear to you that, if you keep on pursing this fund via bank to bank, you will spend a lot of money and it will take a lot of time to be completed.
The easiest way our clients are using to receive their fund now is via diplomatic cash fund delivery.
Meanwhile my official leave will start on 13th June 2009, and intend to spend my holiday in your country, WILL YOU LIKE ME TO BRING THE FUND BY MYSELF WHEN COMING?, but bear in mind that you will give me 10% of your fund, if this is okay with you kindly forward the below information:
Your Full Name:
Your Full Address:
Your telephone number/cell phone:
Note that bringing the fund down to you will cost me a lot of money here in Nigeria such as paying for the consignment loading fees, Pta and Air ticket; I promise to pay all the charges here in Nigeria but you will pay for your consignment airport clearance fee as soon as I arrive your country airport.
Dont forget to send me your nearest airport and your identification so that I will not hand over the consignment to a wrong person.
I will be looking forward to hear from you to enable me know our way forward.
Mr. Jim Ovia
Director Payment unit
Zenith Bank Plc