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:
- 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:
- "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. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR WILLIAMS JOHN," <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 08:25:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONSULT DEPARTMENT OF BRITISH HIGH COMMISSIONS.
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION,
Metro Plaza , Plot 991/992,
Zakari Maillart Street
Cadastral Zone AO,
Central Business District.
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 compensated 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 that scammed as listed by the West Africa Financial Intelligent Unit (WAFIU). Compensation has been issued out in Certified ATM MASTER CARD worth of $950.000.00 USD to all the affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers. Your ATM CARD was among those that were reported undelivered as at Monday and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your ATM CARD immediately for your dispatch.
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the WAFIU dispatches your compensation before Saturday. 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 people and fake security companies, scammers Bank who is collaboration scammed you.
So you are advice to contact the lawyer in charges of this ATM MASTER CARD and his name is Barrister Jerald Clinton and make sure you contact him immediately for more details before this week end.
Name: Barrister Jerald Clinton.
Contact E-mail Address (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Direct Telephone: +229 983-96-11.
Contact him with your full delivery information regarding of the ATM CARD to be delivered to you by the Post/Mail service and also any beneficiary will be responsible for Post/Mail fees so as to avoid any scam and the fees is just only $55.00usd and you will receive your ATM CARD from British High Commission because as soon as you contact the lawyer in charges of your ATM CARD he will alert the united state bureau and inconjuction with your state police for the ATM CARD to be Posted/Mailed to you without any restriction and problem when the ATM CARD get to you in your location area.
WAFIU 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 Post Office Benin Republic for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the conveyance.
Here is the information where to send the post charges of US$55.00 today.
Receivers Name:====Hyacinth Aronu.
We are here to fight and against crimes and fraudulent acts.
Yours in Service,
MR WILLIAMS JOHN,