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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rose William" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 01:35:36 +0800 (CST)
Subject: CONTACT FEDEX OFFICE FOR YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX
Attn My Dear Friend,
I have paid the fee for your cheque Draft and I took it to the
Financial Bank PLC to confirm it then the Manager of the Bank Mr. Bernard Ugo
told me that before the check can get to you it will expire on the way and if it
expired it will become useless so He advice me to convert $4.5m (Four Million
Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) into cash and pack it into the strong Iron box
and deposit it in Fedex Express Delivery Company Benin Republic to deliver it in
cash to you. and I did it as he advise me because he is a banker he knows the
durability of any foreign check or draft.
I deposited the said package with the FedEx Express Delivery
Company as an cotton materials for security reasons. This is the registration
Number of your Package FedEx /122p/MTM/2013 Zip Code;0113388 so do not let the
company to know the real contents of the package so that they can deliver it for
I want you to contact the company immediately with the following
information's though I give them your information but you need to reconfirm it
Below is the required information you need to give them
1.Your Full Name:================
5.Your Phone And Fax Number:=====
6.A Copy Of
7.Your Age And Marital Status:===
All these things is needed from you now to submit to the company
for urgent delivery of your package contains $4.5M Please contact the delivery
company immediately and reconfirm your info to them to enable their agent locate
you when he arrived in your country.This is the company contact
Dr. Frank Ebele Director General
Email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
FedEx Express Diplomatic Delivery Company Benin
Please contact the company immediately you receive this email so
that your package will leave tonight to be deliver to you.
Get back to me as soon as you receive your package from the
God Bless you,
Mrs. Rose William