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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- "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: "DR.STEVE WALTER" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 18:24:16 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Reconfirm below information to the company.
I have been waiting for you since then to come down here and pick your outstanding payment left but I did not hear from you since that time as we fixed. Then I went and deposited the $7,500,000.00 US Dollars. I lodged the funds inside a Copper box as Consignment with DHL COURIER in Benin because I traveled to China to visit my friend for the Company's Annual Board meeting. I will not come back till next month end. Please note that I did not disclose to the Courier that the content of the Consignment box is cash money, instead I registered the consignment as containing some pieces of Art work, this was for security reason and to ensure that the Consigned fund reached you safely.
I want You to contact the DHL COURIER to know when they will deliver your package(fund).I have paid for the delivering charges except the Security Keeping Fee which they said it can only be paid when the Deposits is ready for shipment to the Receiver. Therefore, The only money you have to send to them is their Security Keeping Fee to receive your package at your nominated address. So be advised to contact the Courier Director through this below details and ask him where you will send the Security Keeping Fee for the immediate delivery and reconfirm to them the information and address where to send the Package to you.
Contact: MR.TONY UBA
Manager :( DHL Courier Company Ltd)
Contact Phone :+22998534225 +22968226293
Reconfirm below information to the company.
Your Full Name:-----------------------
Your Home Address:--------------------
Your home phone(s):--------------------
Your cell phone:-----------------------
Your Nearest Airport:-----------------
Let me know as soon as you received the consignment(fund) so that I will be sure you received the total $7,500,000.00