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:
- "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)
- "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. )
- "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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "kelly hall." <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 05:04:38 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Contact the delivery company immediately
I am with your cheque draft and i took it to the FINANCIAL BANK PLC to confirm it then the Manager of the Bank MR BENARD MATU told me that before the check get to you it will expire on the way and if it expired it will become useless so He advice me to Convert $2.5m (TWO MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) into cash and pack it into the strong iron box and deposit it in FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC to deliver it in cash to you. And I did it as he advice me because he is a banker
he knows the durability of any foreign check or draft. I deposited the said consignment in the FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY as cotton materials for security reasons.
This is the registration Number of your consignment FEDEX/122p/mtm/2009 Zip Code; 0113388 so do not let the company to know the real contents of the consignment so that they can deliver it for you safely. I want you to contact the company immediately with the following information Though i give them your information but you need to reconfirm it for them. Below is the required information you need to give
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS:
3. YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBER:
4. A COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY:
5. YOUR AGE AND MARITAL STATUS:
6. YOUR COUNTRY AND CITY:
7. YOUR OCCUPATION:
All these things is needed from you now to submit to the company for urgent delivery of your consignment contains $2.5M Please CONTACT the delivery company immediately and reconfirm your info to them to enable their agent locate you when he arrived in your country. This is the information below:
Directors Name: DR. Anthony Olisa
Companys Name:FEDEX Courier services
FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN-REPUBLIC.
FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN-REPUBLIC. Please contact the company immediately you receive this email so that your consignment will leave immediately and deliver to you. Get back to me as soon as you receive your consignment from the company. God Bless you.
Mr. MIKE BENSON