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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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 (Superposta; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Linda Obi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 09:42:11 -0600
Subject: Dear Friend
(SPEED TRUST EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN)
ODAWA & COUNSELORS AT LAW
06 BP 1409 AKPAKPA DODOMEY
WEST AFRICA COTONOU REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
CALL TEL NUMBER;: +229 66 485 244
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your Bank Draft
$850.000.00 but did not heard from you since that time ,then I went and
deposited the Draft with Speed trust Express deliver company here in Benin Republic
because I travelled to Iraq to see my boss and will not come back till
next month end. You have to contact the Speed trust Express deliver company to
know when they will deliver your package .
I have paid for the delivering charges and insurance fee.
The only money you have to send to them is there security keeping fee which
is $95.00 Us Dollars to received your package.Dont be deceived by any body
This is there Contact Address Contact
Contact Person: Dr.John Akuma,Director
SPEED COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY Benin Republic.
Phone +229 66 485 244 E-mail:(email@example.com)
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately
they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
4.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
5.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
6.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid increasing the security
keeping fee.I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm
it to them again to avoid any mistake in the delivering including with your
ID or Picture.Let me know as soon as you receive your Draft .
Mrs Linda Obi