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.
- 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. )
- "you are required to pay " (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. )
- "does not know the contents of the box" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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.
- 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.Gabriel David" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 04:07:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Your(ATM Card)Registeration Code is (GL-14160),
Your(ATM Card)Registeration Code is (GL-14160),
Hello Dear good friend,
I Just received a call from Dr. Greg Hilton the Director Of DHL Courier Company Benin that the ( $ 1.8million USD ) cash payment compensation which I sent across to you returned back due to wrong address provided, They need the re-confirmation of the below informations:Note: the delivery charges fee has been paid:
Your Names, Current Delivery Address, Direct Phone #, Occupation, and together with their ($150.usd)only Security Keeping Fee which is the only money you are required to pay them, And note that the DHL does not know the contents of the box/package, it was registered as private family treasures so do not disclose the real contents to them for the safetly of the fund.
Contact them at the following informations: Agent Rev.Victor Moris, Tel:+229-98-595-688, E-mails: (firstname.lastname@example.org) (email@example.com)
Your registeration code is (GL-14160),use it as your subject when contacting them, I really appreciate doing business with you and i am presently in peru for a business investement with my own share of the fund.
Thanks and have a nice day.
Yours Truly Friend,
Ex-Minister for Agriculture Benin Republic.