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:
- "stop order document " ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "clearance document" (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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 16 Jan 2010 03:48:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ESPNsoccernet.com:AZ does it
This is a message from ESPNsoccernet.com sent to you by:
Good News For Your Package/Consignment Hither to uphold the liberty and privilege extended to the west African economic control authority (WAECA) by the enabling act of the new directors generals in power as contained in the constitution of international monetary fund (IMF), chapter vii, paragraph 11a, sub-section 03 of 1999, as amended in 02/12/2009.
This is unequivocally certify that the content of the letter received from the office west African economic control authority (WAECA) and international monetary fund (IMF) after their final deliberation upon the entire consignment/package that is on hold due to the inabilities of securing clearance document that will authenticate the successful delivery of the consignment/package to the beneficiary.
This letter is hereby satisfied that the entire consignment/package that was placed stop order document must to be released. Therefore instruction has been passed to the all delivery company such as: UPS, Others DHL, FEDEX, IFEX, Montgomery Clearing and Safe Deposit House and other delivery company to transfer all the undelivered consignment/package to the DHL Express Shipping Service Benin Republic, this company was owned by West African government.
Therefore you advice to contact DHL Express Shipping Service Cotonou Benin Republichead office with the information bellow, meanwhile, do not hesitate to report and provide to us the contact of any other delivery company that may contact you for the delivery. In case you have reaped already by any of this above mentioned company, also provide to us with their contact information prove for immediate persecution.
Dr. Isaac Marcos
(DHL Director Freight and Logistic Department Cotonou Benin Republic)
Head Office: 18 Air-port RD, DHL Express Shipping Service Benin Republic.
Direct line: +229 98 121 093
Tele/fax: 00229 98 12 10 93
This new government has issued release order to the entire consignments/packages, such as bank draft, ATM Card and other treasures, like Diamond and Gold and Expensive Family Treasure on behalf of the beneficiaries upon reconfirmation of his/her so contact address as required bellow.
Content of you package/consignment:.........
Contact the delivery company that is in charge of the delivery package/consignment with the above indicated information with your receiving information as also required, because there is a lot of packages in the treasury department, therefore you are advice to specifically provide your information as required for easily identification of your package and immediate delivery to the same providing address.
Do not hesitate to inform us once your package/consignment is delivery to your address by DHL Express Shipping Service .
Dr.Mr. David Johnson
(Secretary General WAECA)
AZ does it