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:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- "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)
- 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 (Rocketmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Clair Fox" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 18:50:46 +0800
Subject: CONTACT UPS TODAY FOR YOUR ATM CARD
UPS EXPRESS HEAD OFFICE BENIN
DR PASCAL & ASSOCIATES
06 BP 1409 AKPAKPA DODOME
WEST AFRICA COTONOU REPUBLIC OF BENIN.
EMAIL :( email@example.com )
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the re-activation fee
and the delivery charge of your ATM CARD. I paid it because the ATM CARD
worthy of (USD$4.8MILLION), has less than 21 days to expire and when it
expires, the money will divert and forfeited into Government purse
With that I decided to help you pay the money so that, the ATM CARD
will not expire, because I know when you get your ATM CARD definitely
you must pay me back my money and even compensate me for helping you.
Now I want you to contact UPS Express Company with your Full Contact
informationâs so that they can deliver your ATM CARD to your designated
address without any delay, like I stated earlier.
The delivery charges have 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 demurrage might
have increase. They told me that their keeping fees are $50 per day and
I deposited it Today been MONDAY 17th December (2012).
Below is their Contact Informationâs:
Dr. SAMUEL BOLTON
UPS EXPRESS COMPANY
EMAIL :( firstname.lastname@example.org )
You can even call the Director of Dr. SAMUEL BOLTON with this line
+229-98277105 immediately you receive this email.
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct
telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and
ask them to give you the tracking number to enable you track your
package over there and know when it will get to your address.
Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this
mail to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their OFFICIAL
Keeping fee of $50.00 US Dollars for their immediate action today to
avoid the increase per a day.
Please, make sure you send this needed information to the Director
general of UPS Express Delivery Company Ltd Dr. SAMUEL BOLTON with the
address given to you. Note. The UPS Express Delivery Company Ltd don't
know the really contents of the Box. I registered it as a Box of a
jewelries they don't know that the contents valuable ATM CARD. This is
to avoid them delaying with the Box. Donât let them know that is ATM
CARD that is in that Box.
Contact them Today to avoid increase of their keeping fees and let me
know once you receive your ATM CARD.
This is your Registration informationâ¦.
Shipment Code: AXIB YURXTLV-AZ
Package Registration Certificate No; WL20100027
Package approval Certificat No: HNP44065-12442
Package Standard Certificate No: Q/LJ047-2010
Security Code No: WYH-U01002
Serial No: XGT01/JLMK20107
Package Size: 41m by 49m,
Weight of the items: 40kg.
Mr. James Clair Fox.
AVISO LEGAL: La información enviada en este mensaje es confidencial de la Fundacion Hospital de la Misericordia y está dirigida únicamente para el uso de la persona o la entidad a la cual está dirigido. Si Usted no es el destinatario, le informamos que no podrá usar, retener, imprimir, copiar, distribuir o hacer público su contenido, de hacerlo podría tener consecuencias legales como las contenidas en la Ley 1273 del 5 de Enero de 2009 y todas las que le apliquen. Si usted es el destinatario, le solicitamos mantener reserva sobre el contenido a no ser que exista una autorización explícita. Si usted ha recibido esta comunicación por error, notifíquenos inmediatamente a email@example.com y elimine el mensaje.