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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:30:04 +0800 (CST)
Subject: FINAL CHANCE ON YOUR $8.5M CLAIM CONTACT REV. JAMES MOODY LONG WITH THE INSTRUCTION NOW
Series of meetings have
been held over the past 7 months with the secretary general of the United
Nations Organization. This ended 3 days ago. It is obvious that you have not
received your fund which is to the tune of Eight Million and Five Hundred
Thousand United State Dollars ($8,500,000.00) due to past corrupt
Governmental Officials who almost held the fund to themselves for their selfish
reason and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an
attempt to swindle your fund which has led to so many losses from your end and
unnecessary delay in the receipt of your fund.
The National Central
Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of
Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of
African Economic Controller Authorities (ECOWAS) to boost the exercise of
clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations
who have been found not to have receive their Contract Sum, Lottery/Gambling,
Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment?
Because we have two method of payment which is by Check or by ATM
ATM Card: We will be
issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to
$7,000 per day from any ATM machine that has the Master Card Logo on it
and the card have to be renewed in 4 yearsâ time which is 2016. Also with
the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account.
The ATM card comes with a handbook or manual to enlighten you about how to use
it. Even if you do not have a bank account.
Check: To be deposited
in your bank for it to be cleared within three working days. Your payment would
be sent to you via any of your preferred option and would be mailed to you via
DHL. Because we have signed a contract with DHL Courier Service which should
expire byÂ 14 ofÂ January 2013 you will only need to pay $89 instead
of $280 saving you $191 So if you pay before 14
ofÂ January 2013 you save $191 Take note
that anyone asking you for some kind of money above the usual fee is definitely
a fraudsters and you will have to stop communication with every other person if
you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to
spend is $89.00 nothing more! Nothing less! And we guarantee the receipt of your
fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hours after
the receipt of payment has been confirmed.
Note: Everything has
been taken care of by the African Economic Controller Authorities (ECOWAS), The
United Nation and also the FBI and including taxes, custom paper and clearance
duty so all you will ever need to pay is $89.
DO NOT SEND MONEY TO
ANYONE UNTIL YOU READ THIS: The actual fees for shipping your ATM card is
$280 but because DHL have temporarily discontinued the C.O.D which gives
you the chance to pay when package is delivered for international shipping We
had to sign contract with them for bulk shipping which makes the fees reduce
from the actual fee of $280 to $89 nothing more and no hidden fees
of any sort!
To affect the release
of your fund valued at $8,500,000.00 you are advised to contact our
correspondent in West Africa Benin Du Republic the delivery officer Rev. James
Moody Long with the information below +229-68828020,
Name: Rev. James Moody
information as stated below for your delivery:
Method (ATM or Cashier Check)
Kindly copy the below
details to send the fee and email Rev. James Moody Long only at: email@example.com
Name:Â Â Â Â Ogugua Hyacenth Okpala
Address:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Cotonou Benin Republic
Test Question:Â Â Â
Answer:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Upon receipt of payment
the delivery officer will ensure that your package is sent within 48 working
hours. Because we are so sure of everything we are giving you a 100% money back
guarantee if you do not receive payment/package within the next 48hours after
you have made the payment for shipping.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20535
disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to be in
possession of your ATM CARD, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with
Rev. James Moody Long of the ATM CARD CENTRE who is the rightful person to deal
with in regards to your ATM CARD PAYMENT and forward any emails you get from
impostors to this office so we could act upon and commence