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:
- 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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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. )
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "i will advice you " (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.
- +22993017559 (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: "Mr. Frank Lord" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 16:22:30 +0100
Subject: CONTACT FEDEX COURIER COMPANY FOR YOUR DELIVERY
I have been waiting for you to come down here and pick your $4.5 Million Dollars USD but I did not heard from you. Then I went and deposited the $4.5 Million Dollars USD, as a consignment boxes to FEDEX COURIER COMPANY BENIN BRANCH. in Benin Republic, because I travelled to SAUDI ARABIA and i will not come back till next month end. I want you to contact the FEDEX COURIER COMPANY BENIN BRANCH. to know when they will deliver your consignment boxes to you. Please i want to let you know that only the director knows the content and no body else knows about this only Dr Aminu Yayi the director So please waist no time in contacting them with the below information.
I have paid for the delivery fee so the only money you have to send to them now is the security keeping fee of your consignment. Please i will advice you to be friendly with Dr Aminu Yayi the director because he alone has the idea of the content of your consignment. But i want to let you know that i did not give him the key of the boxes so please take note so as soon as they deliver the consignment use this(Code numbers to open the tow boxes to know if the complete amount of $4.5 Million Dollars USD is in it. The first box code (0036589) the second box code (0014759) and i want you to keep this code numbers confidential in your home to avoid another person getting in touch with your money. may God bless you and your family.
CONTACT PERSON/Dr.Aminu Yayi
FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN BRANCH.
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER/ +229-93017559
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid increasing the security keeping fee I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm it to them again to avoid them making mistake in delivering your consignment to your home, reconfirm below information to the company immediately and tell them to send to you the airway bill receipt as soon as you send them the security fee. I would have paid the security fee for you but they said no way because they dont know when you will contact them so please they are waiting for you to contact them with your information to avoid mistake in delivery. and let them know also that they should waist no time in sending to you the tracking number of your consignment so that you can be able to track it and know when it will arrive your country.
Your Full Name-----------------------
Your Age and Occupation-------------------
Let me know as soon as you receive your consignment, and check the contents weather the complete of the total $4.5 Million Dollars USD is in it. Please always call them to know the condition of this Two boxes because you know the content so please let it be very important to you So try and do everything possible to make sure that this two boxes gets to your home with out
Mr. Frank Lord