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:
- "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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sharon Jones©" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 20:48:21 +0400
Subject: Delivery Of Your Consignment Box Worth $1,000 000.00
I am sorry for the check I sent to you for your payment, which youre
unable to Cash due to some unforeseen circumstances. I was able to cash
the money here and paid all the necessary bills involved in the
transactions, and your INTEREST of $1,000 000.00 is in cash, and i boxed
the money and deposited it with Federal Express Delivery Company to
deliver it to you as a cash payment, this is the only best system and
fastest means to pay you, at this time. You are to contact the Federal
Express Delivery Company with your delivery details including your
telephone number, so that they will deliver the package (boxed money) to
your personal address, within 48 hours. The FedEx logistic officer in
charge of the boxes is details is below:-
FedEx Logistic Officer.
Address: 8, Adepite close Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria
Officer Name: Mr. Sam Peter
Phone #:- +234-802-646-2090 +234- 808-262-068-23
Fill in the details above to the FedEx logistic officer for verification.
Please I want to let you know that only the supervisor knows the content and
nobody else knows about this. You are to contact only Mr. Sam Peters the
supervisor, so please waist no time in contacting them. I have paid for the
delivery fee so the only money you have to send to them now is the security
keeping fee of your consignment and it is $100 United States Dollars.
I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you
will contact them and in case of demurrage. Please I will advice you to be
friendly with Mr. JamesPeters the supervisor because he alone has the idea
of the content of your consignment. But i want to let you know that I
did not give him the key of the boxes so please take note that as soon as
they deliver the consignment use this (CODE NUMBERS TO OPEN THE TWO BOXES
TO KNOW IF THE COMPLETE ONE MILLION USD IS IN IT).
THE FIRST BOX CODE (0036589)THE SECOND BOX CODE (0014759) AND I WANT YOU TO
KEEP THIS CODE NUMBERS CONFIDENTIAL IN YOUR HOME TO AVOID ANOTHER PERSON
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH YOUR MONEY MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.NOTE THAT
THE ONLY MONEY YOU WILL PAY FedEx IS $100 DOLLARS AND NO MORE.
Thanks for your patience
Mrs. Sharon Jones©