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:
- 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:
- "activation 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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: MR WILLAM PHILLIPS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 16:53:38 +0800 (CST)
MARGIN-TOP: 5px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 5px
MARGIN-TOP: 5px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 5px
Zenith HeightsPlot 87
to bring to your notice that, I have paid the re-activation fee and the delivery
of your ATM. I paid it because the ATM Card 8119 $ 950.000.00 us dollars has
less four days to expire and when it expires, the money will go into Government
purse AccountÂ here.
With that I decided to help you pay the money so that,
the ATM will not expire, because I know that when you get your ATM definitely
you must pay me back my money and even compensate me for helping you.
Now i want you to contact
UPS DELIVERY SERVICE with your Full Contact informationâs so that they can
deliver your Card to your designated address without any delay. Like i stated
earlier, The delivery charges has been paid but i did not pay their official
keeping fees since they refused.
They refused and the reason is that they do not know
when you are going to contact them and demur rage might have increase. They told
me that their official keeping fees is $Â 130Â per day and I deposited it
yesterday been 31thof October.
you have to pay them official keeping fees is $ 130.00
us dollars,Â so that they can deliver your ATM card to you without any delaying.
Call him as soon as you receive this mail so that they can give you the payment
information you will use to send them the official keeping fees is $ 130.00 us
their Contact Informationâs,
Contact Person: Hon
UPS DELIVERY SERVICE
Email: (Â email@example.comÂ )Â
Tel: Phone +229 68292098Â
Contact then Today to avoid increase of their keeping
fees and let me know once you receive your Card.
WILLAMÂ Â PHILLIPSÂ
ATM OFFICE ZENITH BANKÂ INTERNATIONAL
Federal Republic of Benin West