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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- 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:
From: "John Simmons" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2010 18:14:16 +0100
Subject: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
The British High Commission in Nigeria,Benin Republic,Ghana and Bokinafaso received a report of scam against you and other British/US citizens and Malaysia,Etc. whom the country of Nigeria/Benin,Bokinafaso And Ghana have recompensed you due to meeting held with Four countries Government and the world high commissions against fraud activities by the Four country Citizens.
Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU).A compensation has been issued out in ATM DEBIT CARD to all the affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers. Your ATM CARD was among those that was reported undelivered as at last Friday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receives your ATM CARD immediately for your usage.
NFIU further told us that the use of Nigeria Couriers and the Benin was abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned courier services in Benin,Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have made a concrete arrangement with the DHL Courier Company for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the conveyance.
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the NFIU dispatches your recompense on Friday. You are assured of the safety of your ATM CARD and availability and be advised that you should stop further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you. Call me at: +234 80 769 61 875. immediately to check if the delivery date suits you.
Your Full Name:......................
Your Delivery Address....................
Your phone Number......................
Your occupation ........................