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.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- "security keeping 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. )
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.
- +22996044984 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- +22998072631 (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: "AYOR JIM" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 04:02:22 +0100
Subject: Contact FedEx Courier Company with Shipment Code (PS-1HT60)
I have paid the fee for your cheque draft. But the manager of eko bank Benin told me that before the check will get to you that it will expire. So I told him to cash us$2.5million us dollars all the necessary arrangement of delivering the us$2.5million us dollars in cash was made with FedEx delivery courier company. This is the information the need to deliver your package to you. With FedEx delivery Courier Company, be rest assures that I have paid for the delivering charges and insurance premium. The only fee you have to send to them is their security keeping fee, I would have paid it but they say know because they did not know when you will be contacting them because of the demurrage as I do not know when you will be contacting them, so contact them now for fast delivery.
BELOW IS THE FEDEX DELIVERY COURIER COMPANY INFORMATION'S.
NAME: FEDEX COURIER DELIVERING COMPANY.
ATTANTION: PERSON: DR JERRY COOK
POSITION: FOREIGN DELIVERY DEPARTMENT.
ADDRESS: COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC
E-MAIL :( email@example.com)
Shipment Code (PS-1HT60)
PHONE NUMBER; +2299-8072-631 /+229-96044-984
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.
6. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
Note that this is there E-mail contact (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please make sure you send this needed infos to the Director General of FEDEX DELIVERY COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC, DR JERRY COOK with the address given to you.
Note. FedEx courier services company, don't know the contents of the box. I registered it as a box of Christian books. They don't know it contents money. This is to avoid them delaying with the box. Dont let them know that is money that is in that box. Be informed that this is a FedEx diplomatic delivery and not all FedEx staff is aware of the delivery only the director of foreign deliveries department. Do contact him alone directly on his email or call the director of the company with this line: +229-98072631
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr.Ayor Jim (ESQ)