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:
- 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:
- "express courier delivery" (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. )
- "million dollars" (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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: "Dr.Ban Ki-Moon." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2012 17:24:06 -0000
Subject: 12/24/2012 Contact Apex Express Courier Company Today.
United Nations Assisted Program
Directorate of International Payment
United Nations Liaison Office - Africa
You may not understand why this mail came to you. We have been having a meeting for the past 7 months which just ended few days ago with the secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.
This email is to all the people that have been victim in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS IN Affiliation with WORLD BANK have agreed to compensate you with the sum of USD$2,500, 000.00 USDollars: , for self support.This is regarding the draws he organized before he left the office to help individuals to own a self charity organization also for your to build your Personal Company/organization so as to help the less privileged in there society due to the financial crisis.
This includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract, inheritance & lotto sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international business that failed due to Government problems etc. We found your name in the list of those who are to benefit from these compensation exercise and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
You have two options to receive your payment which is either a Pin Based ATM card or Certified Cashier Cheque which you can cash in any bank of your choice all over the world. You are advised to select one out of the two options on how you wish to receive your $2,500, 000.00 Million Dollars through ATM card or Cheque which will be shipped via Apex Express Courier Delivery Company Benin Republic and would get to you within 2 to 3
working days at most.
You are advised to contact Dr. Allen Alpha of Apex Express Courier Delivery Company Benin Republic, as he is our representative in Benin Republic, contact him immediately for your Cashier Cheque of $2,500, 000.00 USDollars. This funds are in a Cashier Cheque for security purpose, so he will send it to you and you can clear it in any bank of your choice.
Therefor you are advised to contact the dispatching officer responsible for the shipping of your Cashier Cheque or ATM Card with the following information for shipping of your payment through Cashier Cheque or ATM Card.
Make Sure you provide him with the following information as soon as you receive this Email for their immediate action .
1,Your full Name.
2,Your Address where your payment will be dispatch to you:.
3,Home telephone number/Cell Phone:.
4,A Scan Copy Of Identity Card Or Drivers License to avoid wrong delivery:
7,Preferred Payment Method (Cashier Cheque or ATM Card):
Contact him now and inform him that you received an email from the UNITED NATIONS , instructing you to call him for immediate release of your Cashier Cheque of USD$2,500, 000.00 and forward your details to Dr. Martin Ade immediately for your ATM Card or Cashier Cheque at the given address below:
United Nation Dispatching Officer
Company's Name: Apex Express Courier Delivery Company Benin.
Contact person: Dr. Allen Alpha.
Tel No: +229-98950302
I apologize on behalf of my organization for any delay you might have encountered in receiving your fund in the past.
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your ATM Card or Cashier Cheque.
Making the world a better place.