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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "lagos" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ali Abdullahi (Secretary)" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 14:58:05 -0300
Subject: PLEASE READ MY MESSAGE AND GET BACK TO ME PLEASE!!
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION
Aguyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama District Lagos, Nigeria.
Attention Dear Scam Victim.
The British High Commission in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ghana and Burkina, South Africa, Togo, Senegal In collaboration with UK (London) Anti-Crime Squad received a report of scam against you and other British/US citizens and Malaysia, etc. whom the country of Nigeria/Benin, Burkina, Ghana And UK (London) Anti-Crime Squad have re-compensate you due to the meeting been held together with Four countries Government and the world high commissions against fraud activities by the Four countries Citizens.
Your name was among those scammed as listed by the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU). and a Compensation has been issued out through ATM DEBIT CARD to all the affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers. Your ATM CARD was among those that were reported undelivered as at last Friday and we wish to advise you to seek to the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your own ATM CARD immediately for your usage.
NFIU further told us that the use of Nigeria Couriers and the Benin was abolished due to interception activities noticed in the above mentioned courier services in Benin, Nigeria and Ghana and there by have made a concrete arrangement with the new delivery Company which is the UNITED PARCEL SERVICE for a safe delivery to your door-step once the beneficiary meets up the demand of the conveyance.
We advise that you do the needful to make sure the NFIU dispatches your recompense today as soon as you receive this E-mail. You are assured of the safety of your ATM CARD containing the sum of US$10 MILLION and availability and be advised that you should stop further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you.
You are to contact the United Parcel Service with your full delivery information below for immediate delivery of your ATM DEBIT CARD note you will be given your ATM CARD PIN.
UNITED PARCEL SERVICE DELIVERY COMPANY.
Agent Contact Name: Mr John Peter
Contact Phone Number +2348108225411
Company's Contact E-mail: email@example.com
You are advised to contact the UNITED PARCEL Delivery Company with your full information below so that they can make arrangement on how to dispatch your ATM CARD to your home and immediately you receive this email please make sure you report back to this office.
Information to forward are:
Current Home Address:
Your ID Card:
Upon the receipt of your email we shall jet-out the ATM card together with the pin details to your destination.
I look forward to your response!
Mr. Ali Abdullahi (Secretary)