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:
- "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. )
- 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: Mr Smith Daye <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mr Smith Daye <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2013 19:53:46 +0800 (CST)
Subject: ATM Card 8119 $2.5m
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the re-activation fee and the delivery of your ATM.I paid it because the ATM Card 8119 $2.5m,has less three days to expire and when it expires,the money will go into Government purse.
With that I decided to help you pay
the money so that,the ATM will not
expire,because I know that when you
get your ATM definitely you must pay
me back my money and even compensate
me for helping you.
Now i want you to contact UPS
DELIVERY SERVICE with your Full
Contact informations so
that they can deliver your Card to
your designated address without any
delay.Like i stated earlier, The
delivery charges has 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 dumurrage might have
increase.They told me that their
keeping fees is $130per day and i
deposited it yesterday been 16th August
l.Call him as soon as you receive this
mail.Below is their Contact
Contact Person: Hon Jerry Leo,
UPS DELIVERY SERVICE
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Tel: +229 9483-8695
Contact then Today to avoid increase of their keeping fees and let me know once you receive your Card.
Mr Smith Daye