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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "storage 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. )
- 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: "Chicago O'Hare International Airport" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 14:20:59 -0700
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION!
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Airport code: ORD
10000 West O'Hare
Chicago, IL 60666
ATTENTION : Final Notice of Your Package
In view of your inability to receive your package reg #: GB8100AF originally scheduled to be delivered to you by an agency, Foreign payment service New york. This package in a Golden Metal Box valued $5,316,000USD (five million three hundred and sixteen thousand dollars) arrived at Chicago international airport terminal 1 via British airways flight No.BA297 from Heathrow airport London sometime ago. The agency, Foreign payment service New york staff came and applied for the release of this package which originated from National UK lottery London United Kingdom for delivery to your address but has since not shown up. I am writing to you to inform you that the days of grace has expired and we shall begin to charge the storage fee of $10 USD daily. Please call Mark Thompson on (773) 377-6807 Extension 21 terminal 5 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to release this package and deliver it to you directly. Please reconfirm these information's;
1. Your current address
2. Your phone number
3. Nearest airport
For immediate delivery.
Note that this notice serves as our last recovery notice to you as our department will be compelled to list your package as an unclaimed, and maybe forfeited.
STORAGE OFFICER Terminal 5 Extension 11
Phone: 773- 377-6807