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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Rev.Peru Usman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:34:45 -0500
Subject: Urgent Attention Beneficiary (Your Payment is Ready)
Urgent Attention Beneficiary (Your Payment is Ready)
This is to bring to your notice that orders given by the Presidency and the entire house of senate for the year 2011 is that my bank is the chosen bank to pay out all foreign
contract/inheritance funds.My bank was ordered after meeting held in the presidential
village to contact and proceed with payment of your contract/inheritance Funds by informing you that the former bank in charge of your payment via ATM card being,Zenith Bank,Union Bank,Eco Bank, ETC is no longer in charge of this payment.
I wish to inform you that you have (2.5Million u.s dollars) outstanding payment has been approved and ready to be paid but we want to confirm first from you by giving you our mode of payment this arrangement was agreed between the Presidency and the Senate committees so take note that we have three modes of Payment delivery via ATM CARD:
DHL COURIER COMPANY/////fedEX COURIER EXPRESS////UPS COURIER SERVICE
Shipping fee: $245/////Shipping fee:$210 ///////Shipping fee:$189
(2 day delivery) //////(2 days delivery)/////////(3 days delivery)
also reconfirm your full informations such as
Your Contact Home Phone Number:
Your Cell Phone Number
Your Next Of Kin:
A Scan Copy of your Identity:
Your are expected to provide the needed information correctly to avoid mistake during the delivery by any choosen courier service of your choice,furthermore,you are advice to stop all contact with any office,organisation or individual claiming to be in charge of your fund,
I will require you to get back to this office with your decision over a Chosen mode of payment and we will take it from there
Your urgent response will be highly appreciated