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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "western union" (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- moore martins email address: email@example.com :firstname.lastname@example.org phone number: (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. ROSELINA WILFORD" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 07:13:23 +1100
Subject: ***SPAM*** Good Day
I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Confirmable Bank Draft of $450,000 United States Dollars,
but I did not hear from you since for a couple of weeks now. Then I went to the bank to confirm if the draft has
expired or getting near to expire and Dr.Wilson the Director United Bank for Africa told me that before the draft will
get to your hand that it will not expire.
As long as you cannot meet up with our FedEx delivery fees.I will like you to contact Mr. Bennedit Moore Martins at the
strompost regular mailing office for the bank draft check to avoid losing this fund under expiration, as I will be out
of the country for a 6 Months Course. What you have to do now is to contact the NATIONAL STROMPOST OFFICE as soon as
possible to know when they will deliver your Bank Draft to you because of the expiry date.
For your information, the only money you will send to the national Strompost office to deliver your Bank Draft direct to
your postal Address in your country is ($54USD) fifty four United States Dollars only being the NSPS regular postage stamp
fees. Again, don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except ($54 USD) Dollars for the delivery stamp.
You have to contact NATIONAL STROMPOST OFFICE now for the delivery of your Bank Draft with this information below;
NAME: NATIONAL STROMPOST OFFICE
CONTROLLER: MR.BENNEDIT MOORE MARTINS
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
PHONE NUMBER: +234-704-133-2916 or 01123470 4133 2916
Try to contact him as soon as possible. I gave them your delivery address but you have to reconfirm it to him again to
avoid any mistakes in the delivery of your fund. Reconfirm below information to the company.
Your Full Name-----------------------
Send the US$54.00 through western union money transfer with the following information.
Receiver Name: SUNDAY NWUSU
Address: 2B Emirate Building Lagos Nigeria.
Text Question: Color
Send MTCN # .............
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any
mistake at the Delivery post and ask them to give you, your nsps receipt which is your proof of payment. Know when it will get to your
address.Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember
to pay for the nsps stamp ($54USD) Dollars for their immediate action.You can only reach me with my telephone in uk, with
this my mobile number +44 702 406 2169.
Mrs. Cheryl Swetnam