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:
- 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:
- "clearance 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. )
- "levy " (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. )
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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 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. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Ms. Carman L.Lapointe" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 10:35:16 -0700
Subject: To: Unpaid Beneficiary,(WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FUNDS)
From: Ms. Carman L. Lapointe
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary-
General For Internal Oversight Services
To: Unpaid Beneficiary,
This is to inform you that I came to Ghana yesterday from Canada, after series of complaint from the FBI and other Security agencies from Asia, Europe, South America and the United States of America respectively, against the West Africa Government and Ecowas and the British Government for the high volume of fraudulent activities affecting a lot of citizens and Internet Users all over the nations. For more information about me kindly click on the below link or copy and paste on your web browser.
Right now, as directed by UN secretary General named Ban Ki-Moon we are working in collaborations with the Nigerian Financial Crime Commission/agencies and we have decided to waive away all your clearance fees/Charges and authorized the British Government to effect your overdue payment worth $10.5M only into your account without any delay as approved and instructed by CANADIAN government and UNITED NATIONS except the only fee you will pay to receive your fund is the Notarization fee for Payment release which our cashier officer below will provide for you all neccessary information needed and instructions to process the release of your funds. Upon your request, She will tell you the amount and also send you the payment information you will use in sending the Notarization fee.
Sincerely, you are a lucky person because I have just discovered that some top Ghana Government Official are interested in claiming your fund with fake documentations because through our Investigations and report given to us by the Ghana Government and Ghana Police Service ,we confirm that Two Impersonator were cut by my security surveillance at the Cargo Department Kotoka International trying to smuggle Two Metallic Trunk Boxes through Ghana Exit. From our intense investigation inspection and screwing, The Two person were discoursed to be A Bank Manager and one Diplomatic Officer, trying to divert your funds to another person, using Ghana as an escape root. After our verification and inspection the Documents Backing these two trunk consignment Boxes are all in your name and the clearance and ownership Documents was change illegally from your name to Mr. Bruce Hancock, In Canada. To be very clear about the content, the two trunks were subjected to Altra Scan be sure that th
e boxes are not containing any te
The two gentle men are in our custody at the moment awaiting for preparation for Court for the law to take it course legally. How ever I have been appointed to make arrangement for all the necessary legal shipment to the Rightful Beneficiary Owner. Through the United Nations Courier Services.
Note that I have a very limited time to spend here in Ghana so I would like you to urgently respond to this message with your full name, full address,direct phone number so that she can advise you on how best to confirm your fund in your account within the next 72 hours or receive in a consignment cash funds as it is at the moment. Once again, the only fee you will pay to receive your fund is the Notarization fee. Upon your request, I will tell you the amount and also send you the payment information you will use in sending the Notarization fee and also a legality Original Certificate will be issue to you with other original certificate of ownership and documentations to proof that you are the rightful owner so therefore we strongly advice you to kindly stop further communication every of those suspected agents,bankers,diplomatic from unexpect courier company to avoid any further problem as we are ready to clear your winning /Inheritance Funds and do not hesitate to forward
to our agent any informations to
So kindly contact Mrs Gladys Ruth Levy
Mrs. Gladys Levy (Director,)
Tel: + 233-548-627-823
Make sure you contact her immediately as you receive this email, to make an arrangement with him on how to get your compensation check /ATM/ FUNDS delivered either via the Bank Bank or Via our corresponding courier company to your address without any delay and make sure you handle this as a confidential to yourself till you finally have access to your funds because this transaction is highly legitimate so therefore kindly take note.
Ms. Carman L.Lapointe
Head Of United Nations Under-Secretary
General For Internal Oversight Services