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:
- "money gram" (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. )
- "robert mueller" (This name is often mentioned in money recovery scams (re-scam): the real FBI will not tell you to contact some email address. If you are in any doubt, contact an FBI field office via www.fbi.gov. )
- "international remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier company" (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 next of kin scam.
- 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)
- courier express in west africa. email address: firstname.lastname@example.org direct tell +234-706-665-5666. also you have to (Safe-mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- person: brian d, phillips. email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Safe-mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:39:19 +0800
Subject: FBI UNITED STATE YOUR ATM CARD AS A MATTER OF URGENCY
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION.
(FBI) PAYMENT MEMO TO BENEFICIARIES.
ATTN: ATM CARD PAYMENT BENEFICIARY,
AGAIN DEAR SIR, I AM HONORABLE RON HOSKO FBI OFFICER IN CONJUNCTION WITH ROBERT MUELLER 111 TO MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE YOUR ATM CARD IN THIS SEASON JUST HOPE IN GOD.
ATTN, THIS CODE (18062012) IS TO SHOW THAT YOU ARE THE ORIGINAL OWNER OF THIS INHERITANCE FUND IN ATM CARD, (18062012)
WE ARE NOW IN SUBJECT TO HELP YOU RECEIVE YOUR ATM CARD FOR SURE DUE TO THERE IS A LOT OF REPORT ABOUT DELAYING TACTICS OF NON FINALIZING TRANSACTIONS BY FEDEX OFFICE.
LISTEN IF WE DONâT HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE PAYMENT INFORMATION; THE FEDERAL BUREAU INVESTIGATION WILL NOT HESITATE TO GIVES INSTRUCTION TO GOVERNMENT BODY AND THE INTERNATIONAL REMITTANCE DEPARTMENT TO CANCEL YOUR PAYMENT THAT HAS BEEN ALREADY APPROVED AND PROGRAMMED IN ATM SMART CARD.
I WANT YOU TO READ BELOW VERY CAREFULLY,
THE NOTICE BELOW STAND AS CAUTION BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, YOU MUST BE CONSCIOUS OF THIS CONTACT AS I WILL SOON CONCLUDE THIS TRANSACTION WITH YOU.
LET THIS STAND AS A WARNING,
BEFORE YOU REPLY ANY E-MAIL OR CALL REGARDING THIS TRANSACTION FROM ANY INDIVIDUAL OR OFFICE/ ORGANIZATION OR BANK CLAIMING TO HAVE YOUR TRANSACTION TRY TO LET ME KNOW.
BE INFORMED THAT YOU MAY ALSO RECEIVE SEVERAL E-MAILS AND TELEPHONE CALLS FROM ANY ORGANIZATION, SUCH THINGS MUST BE FORWARDED TO US IMMEDIATELY FOR VERIFICATION IT MIGHT COME TO YOU WITH DIFFERENT PROPOSALS WITH DIFFERENT NAMES OR MY NAME ASKING YOU TO COME AND PUT CLAIM FOR YOUR FUNDS BELONGING TO YOU JUST IGNORE THEM AND FACE FBI.
HOWEVER, BE INFORMED THAT THE PART PAYMENT, WHICH IS 15,000.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS HAS BEEN LOADED IN YOUR ATM SMART CARD AS YOUR INHERITANCE FUND WHICH IS TO THE TUNE OF 15,500.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS THAT WILL COME TO YOU IN BATCHES OF 15,000.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST BATCH OF YOUR PART PAYMENT.
HOWEVER AGAIN BE ADVISED ON OUR RECOMMENDATION/ INSTRUCTIONS THAT YOUR COMPLETE CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUND IS OVER-DUE FOR IMMEDIATELY PAYMENT UPON YOUR CONTACT TO THE FEDEX COURIER COMPANY WITH THE PAYMENT FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGED.
YOU ARE THEREFORE BE ADVISED TO CONTACT IMMEDIATELY AS FEDEX OF WEST AFRICAN OPERATION DEPARTMENT AND ASK HIM ON HOW AND WHERE TO SEND THE PAYMENT FEE OF COURIER COMPANY $100 DOLLARS.
CONTACT PERSON: DAVID REHOLZ.
FEDEX COURIER EXPRESS IN WEST AFRICA.
EMAIL ADDRESS: fedex_rebholz_david1@Safe-mail.net
DIRECT TELL +234-706-665-5666.
ALSO YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE FEDEX OFFICE NEW YORK MR BRIAN D, PHILLIPS IMMEDIATELY FOR DELIVERY PACKAGE.
CONTACT PERSON: BRIAN D, PHILLIPS.
YOU'RE ADVISED TO CONTACT THEM IMMEDIATELY TO ENABLE THEM FACILITATE A SPEEDY DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM CARD ONCE IS THE ONLY THING KEEPT YOUR ATM SMART CARD.
PAY YOUR LAST DUE FEE WITH MONEY GRAM SERVICE AND CONTACT US.
SEE THE NAME TO SEND THE LAST FEE ACCORDING TO FEDEX OFFICE NEW YORK.
NAME : NNAKEE JOSEPH NWABUEZE.
COUNTRY. : NIGERIA.
AMOUNT: $100 DOLLARS.
TEXT QUESTION: DELIVER.
TEXT ANSWER: CARD.
THEN YOU SEND THE REFRENCE NUMBER.
RON HOSKO. PLUS ROBERT MUELLER 111, FBI.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C.