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:
- 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. )
- 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 (Sify; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Anthony Peters" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 08:11:45 -0800 (PST)
Subject: REGARD'S FROM DR ANTHONY O PETERS
Hello My Dear,
Greetings to you and your family,I take this liberty to inform you that, the transaction we were pursing together,finally worked out by God's infinite mercy through Mr owen Fredrick in United Kindom,It takes faith,courage and God's fearing to remember old friends and at the same time, to show gratification to them, despite circumstances that made things, not worked out as we projected then.
Now i decided to contact you once again to show appreciation,and to let you know that I have registered a programmed ATM CARD worth $1.2 US Dollars in your name for your compensation and your past effort's and the necessary arrangement of delivering the ATM CARD has been made with SKYLINE COURIER/SECURITY COMPANY Benin Republic.
For your information,I have paid for the delivering Charges,The only money you will pay to the Delivery Company to deliver your ATM CARD direct to your home Address as you may provid in your country is ($98) being their Security Keeping Fee.Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
Registration Reference No of the ATM CARD FDXB/xxx/100
DR ANTHONY O PETERS