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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Robert Dewar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Oct 2011 12:10:48 -0400
Subject: The BRITISH High Commission
The BRITISH High Commission in Benin Republic,Ghana and Bokinafaso,Nigeria,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
recompensed you due to meeting held with Four countries Government and the world high commissions against fraud
activities by the Four country Citizens.
Your name and the names of those victims whom emails address i have sent along for your perusal was listed by the
Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU). A re compensation has been issued out in ATM CARD to all the affected
victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers.
Your ATM CARD was among those that was reported undelivered and we wish to advise you to see to the instructions of
the Committee to make sure you receives your ATM CARD immediately for your own use.NFIU further told usthat the use
of Nigeria Couriers and the Benin was abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned
courier services in Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have made a concrete arrangement with the DHL Courier Company and
EMS SPEED POST courier service for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the NFIU dispatches your recompense immediately. 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
lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you.
Get in touch with Mrs.Linda Smith, with below information,
NAME;Mr Richard Smith
As he is responsible for handling and effecting your redress ion. And make sure you Call him at: +2347081358151
immediately to check if the delivery date suits you.
Yours in Service,
Mr. Robert Dewar
CONSULER BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION