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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "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. )
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "email@example.com" (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:
From: Brent Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2010 18:03:21 +0800
I have been waiting for you to pick up your Cashier Check of $800,000.00 USD
(EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS) before I leave the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, but you did not show up as I did not hear from you. I am writing to
inform you that I have deposited your cashier check with UNITED PARCEL SERVICE
there in Nigeria.
For your information, I'm now in Japan to resume my new job offer and will not
go back to Nigeria till next year. Please you have to contact the
Service of Nigeria to know when they will deliver your package to your
address in your country.
Note that I have paid for the security keeping fee. The only money you will
have to pay is the shipping/handling fee which only cost $80.00 US Dollars to
receive your check parcel as agreed with them.
Don't be deceived by any body because I have paid for the security keeping fee
before they accepted the Cashier check.
Please contact the company with their below details:
Name: Mary Anderson
Thanks for your attention.