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:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- "activation 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. )
- "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.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Joyce Carter" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Joyce Carter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 09:49:28 +0100 (GMT+01:00)
Subject: ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL
ZENITH BANK INTERNATIONAL
UPS EXPRESS HEAD OFFICE BENIN
DR SAMUEL BOLTON & ASSOCIATES
06 BP 1409 AKPAKPA DODOME
WEST AFRICA COTONOU REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
EMAIL :( email@example.com )
TELL PHONE :+229-99481902
Attn: Payment Notification,
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the re-activation fee
and the delivery of your ATM.I paid it because the ATM Card 8119 1.5m
used, has less than 21 days to expire and when it expires, the money
will go into Government purse. With that I decided to help you pay the
money so that, the ATM CARD will not expire, because I know when you get
your ATM CARD definitely you must pay me back my money and even
compensate me for helping you.
Now I want you to contact UPS Delivery Service with your Full Contact
information’s so that they can deliver your Card to your designated
address without any delay. Like I stated earlier, the delivery charges
has been paid but I did not pay their official keeping fees since they
refused. They refused and the reason is that they do not know when you
are going to contact them and
demurrage might have increase. They told me that their keeping fee is
$40usd so that is only money that you well pay to them so try and see
that you send them the money so that there well send your ATM CARD to
Dr, SAMUEL BOLTON
UPS EXPRESS COMPANY
EMAIL :( firstname.lastname@example.org)
TELL PHONE :+229-99481902.
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct
telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and
ask them to give you the tracking number to enable you track your
package over there and 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 them their OFFICIAL
Keeping fee of $40.00 US Dollars for their immediate action today to
avoid the increase per a day.
Please, make sure you send this needed information to the Director
general of UPS Express Delivery Company Ltd Dr, SAMUEL BOLTON with the
address given to you. Note. The UPS Express Delivery Company Ltd don't
know the really contents of the Box. I registered it as a Box of a
jewelries they don't know that the contents valuable ATM CARD. This is
to avoid them delaying with the Box. Don’t let them know that is ATM
CARD that is in that Box.
Name: Ruth Brinson: Tracking Number 1Z 96R 406 22 1003 4521 (www.ups.com)
Name: Leigh Gilchrist: Tracking Number 1Z 96R 406 22 1003 4530 (www.ups.com)
Name: Amanda R. Hamilton: Tracking Number 1Z 96R 406 22 1003 4549 (www.ups.com)
Name: Deborah Dominick: Tracking Number 1Z 96R 406 22 1003 4558
Contact Today to avoid increase of their keeping fees and let me know once you receive your ATM Card.
Shipment Code: #AXIB 131ZXR,
Your Package Registration No; # Eg2272,
Security Code No: # 01721457,
PACKAGE No: # JKT0014523,
Items No: # J247,
Serial No: #1256784356,
Size of the items: 46m by 52m,
Weight of the items: 41kg.
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