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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "courier company" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Urgent From Mr. Collins R. Chime" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 04:35:44 +0530 (IST)
For Your Kind Attention:
Good day, how are you today? I am writing to inform you that I have paid the fee for your Draft. And I went to the bank to confirm if the draft has expired or getting near to expire and Mr. Ahmed Zafa the Director of the Eco Bank Plc, told me that before the draft will get to your hand that it will expire.
So I told him to cash the $5,500,000.00 (Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) to cash payment to avoid losing these funds. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $5,500,000.00 in cash was made with GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY here in Federal Republic of Benin Cotonou.
Mr. Ahmed Zafa the Director of the Eco Bank Plc here has to package the sum of $5,500,000.00 USD in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to register the Consignment with GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY. Infarct I thank God for all the movement I made, everything goes successfully and this is the tag number given to me (FCSCB77415).
As for our agreement with the Global Max Courier Company they promised that your consignment will leave this Country on next week, But the Director of the GLOBAL MAX COURIER COMPANY said that you have to pay for the security keeping fee wish will cost you $295.00 USD, and also they needs your contacts informationâs to enable them meet up with you immediately their Diplomat Agent arrived to your Country with your consignment box. Please write a letter of application to the given below address, and you should send the security keeping fee of $295.00 only to the Global Max Courier Company to enable them proceed on your delivery.
Mr.Â Williams Ume.Â Â Â Â
Direct Telephone: +229-98270398
Note. That I have paid the delivery charges, so all you have to pay to the Global Max Courier Company is only their security keeping fee of $295.00 USD only.
You should Send them your contact information to enable them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your consignment BOX. This is what they needs from you.
1. YOUR FULL NAME.......................................
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS....................................
3. YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER...................
4. YOUR AGE.............................................
5. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE...............................
Please make sure you send this needed informationâs to the Director General of Global Max Courier Company, Mr. Williams Ume, with the address given to you.
Note. The Global Max courier company doesnât know the contents of the Box. It was registered as a BOX containing Africa cloths. They don't know it contains money. This is to avoid them delaying with the BOX. Donât let them know that is money that is in that Box.
I am waiting for your urgent response.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr. Collins R. Chime.