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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: OFFICE MAIL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 17:14:37 +0530 (IST)
Subject: REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
I have Paid the fee for your Cheque Draft.but the manager of Continental Bank Benin told me thatbefore the check will get to you that it will expire.So i told him to cash $2.500,000.00 all the necessary arrangement of delivering the$2.500,000.00 in cash was made with UNITED
POSTAL SERVICE COMPANY.
Here is their information
ATTN: DR GODWIN MARTINS
TEl: : +229 98 980 667
EMAIL: ( email@example.com )
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME.
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
4.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
5.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
6.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE.
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid mistake on the delivery.I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm it to them
again to avoid any mistake in the delivering including with your ID or Picture.Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive the package box
contains $2.5MILLION .
SHIPMENT CODE AWB 33XZSPACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
SECURITY CODE SCTC/2001DHX/567/TRANSACTION CODE 233/CSTC/101/33028/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE SCTC/BUN/xxiv/-78/01Note. The UNITED POSTAL SERVICE COMPANY don't know the contents of the Box.I registered it as a Box of an Africa cloths. They don't know it contents $2.5MILLION. don't let them know that is money that is in that package Box. Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Mr Nelson Coleman