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:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- "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. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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 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 (Yahoo, Spain; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- contact person: mr.paul mike private email address: email@example.com contact direct number: +234-7032312102 you're (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "JAMES B COMEY" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:10:47 +0100
Subject: FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C,
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONITORY CRIMES DIVISION
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON,
GOOD NEWS, WE HAVE A MEETING WITH INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA OVER YOUR LONG OVERDUE CONTRACT PAYMENT AND WE INFORMED THEM THAT YOUR FUND SHOULD NOT COST YOU ANYTHING BECAUSE IS YOUR MONEY WHICH WE FINALLY REACHED TO AGREEMENT YESTERDAY THAT ALL THE PAYMENT WILL BE PAID VIA ATM SMART CARD BEEN THE SIMPLEST WAY TO TRANSFER HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO AVOID COST OF TRANSFER AND OTHER STATUTORY DOCUMENT TO THE UNITED STATES DOCUMENT LIKE (UNITED STATES PATRIOT ACT ) WHICH WE STRETCHED TO HAVE A STRUNG AGREEMENT OVER THE PAYMENT THAT IT WILL COST YOU ONLY $98 USD ONLY FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM SMART CARD VIA UPS OR FEDEX DELIVERING COMPANY BUT YOU ALSO HAVE OPTION OF COLLECTING YOUR ATM SMART CARD AT THEIR OFFICE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO PAY THE FEE.
HOWEVER, YOU HAVE ONLY TWO WORKING DAYS TO SEND THIS $98 U.S.
DOLLARS TO FEDEX OR UPS COURIER COMPANY FORDELIVERING OF YOUR CARD,IF WE DONT HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE PAYMENT INFORMATION; THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION WILL NOT HESITATE BY GIVEN INSTRUCTION TO FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO CANCEL YOUR PAYMENT THAT HAS BEEN PROGRAMMED INTO ATM SMART CARD .
I WANT YOU TO READ BELOW CAREFULLY, THE NOTICE BELOW STAND AS CAUTION BEFORE IT IS LATE. FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION, YOU MUST BE CONSCIOUS OF THIS PROJECT, AS I WILL SOON CONCLUDE THIS TRANSACTION WITH YOU, LET THIS STAND AS A WARNING BEFORE YOU IN-CASE YOU RECEIVED ANY E-MAILS, OR CALLS REGARDING TO THIS FROM ANY INDIVIDUALS CLAIMED TO BE ME, SUCH CALLS OR E-MAILS FROM ANY ORGANIZATION TO YOU, SUCH MUST BE FORWARDED TO US IMMEDIATELY, IT MIGHT COME TO YOU WITH DIFFERENT PROPOSALS WITH DIFFERENT NAMES INCLUDING MY NAME ASKING YOU TO COME AND CLAIM YOUR ESTATE OR EVEN FUNDS BELONGING TO YOU OR TO SOMEBODY YOU DO NOT KNOW, I URGE YOU TO IGNORE SUCH E-MAILS OR CALLS, WHILE YOU FORWARD IT TO US. I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND CO-OPERATION, AGAIN WITHOUT THIS CODE (555) DOESNT GET BACK TO THIS OFFICE.
MOREOVER, FIRST BATCH OF YOUR CARD WHICH CONTAINS 3,000.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARSHAS BEEN ACTIVATED AND IS THE TOTAL FUND LOADED INSIDE THE CARD. YOURE FUND WHICH IS IN TOTAL 10,500.000.00 MILLION U.S.
DOLLARSWILL COME IN BATCHES OF 3,000.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARSAND THIS IS THE FIRST BATCH.YOUR PAYMENT WOULD BE SENT TO YOU VIA UPS OR FEDEX BECAUSE WE HAVE SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH THEM WHICH SHOULD EXPIRED BY JULY 30TH OR YOU CAN GO OVER TO THEIR OFFICE TO COLLECT YOUR CARD WHICH YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY THE $98. BELOW ARE FEW LIST OF TRACKING NUMBERS YOU CAN TRACK FROM FEDEX WEBSITE (WWW.FEDEX.COM) TO CONFIRM PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO HAVE RECEIVED THEIR PAYMENT SUCCESSFULLY.
RICHARD AUTRY ============== 869713119185
GARY METZGER ============== 871363130860
MARK STUBBS ==============871363116168
HOWEVER, WE HEREBY ADVISEDYOU THAT BASED ON OUR RECOMMENDATION/INSTRUCTIONS; YOUR COMPLETE CONTRACT/INHERITANCE OVER-DUE FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY UPON YOUR CONTACT TO THE NEWLY APPOINTED PAYMENT OFFICER THAT WILL HAND OVER YOUR CARD TO UPS OR FEDEX COURIER COMPANY WITH THE PAYMENT FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGED IF YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE IT DELIVERED TO YOU. YOU ARE THEREFORE ADVISED TO CONTACT MR.PAUL MIKE APPOINTEDDIRECTOR ATM SWIFT CARD/FOREIGN OPERATION DEPT AND ASK HIM HOW CAN FORWARD THE PAYMENT INFORMATION TO FEDEX OR UPS COURIER COMPANY BELOW IS
THE PAYMENT INFORMATION.
RECEIVERS NAME: CHUKWUOCHA BRIGHT
RECEIVERS ADDRESS: LAGOS/NIGERIA
TEXT QUESTION: OK
TEXT ANSWER: YES
AMOUNT: $98 USD
SENDERS NAME: #
SENDERS ADDRESS: #
PLEASE AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE MONEY FORWARD IT TO THIS EMAIL ADDRESS OK:
CONTACT PERSON: MR.PAUL MIKE
PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT DIRECT NUMBER: +234-7032312102
YOU'RE ADVISED TO CONTACT HIM IMMEDIATELY SO AS TO ENABLE HIM FACILITATE THE SPEEDY PROCESSING AND RELEASE OF YOUR DELIVERY SINCE IS THE ONLY $98 USD THAT IS KEEPING YOUR CARD THEIR IN AFRICA. CONTACT HIM WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS REFER TO ABOVE.
NOTE: YOU'RE ADVISED TO FURNISH THE NEWLY APPOINTED PAYMASTER GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION WITH YOUR CORRECT AND VALID DETAILS TO ENABLE HIM EXPEDITE SPEEDY ACTION ON THE PROCESSING OF YOUR PAYMENT. WE EXPECT YOUR SWIFT RESPONSE TO THIS EMAIL TO ENABLE US MONITOR THIS PAYMENT DELIVERYEFFECTIVELY THEREBY MAKING CONTACT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AS DIRECTED TO AVOID FURTHER DELAY.
YOURE ALSO EXPECTED TO FOLLOW HIS ADVICE AND DIRECTIVES TO AVOID DELAY IN RELEASING YOUR PAYMENT BECAUSE YOUR PAYMENT FILE HAS ALREADY BEEN MOVED TO HIS OFFICE FOR PROCESSING AND VERIFICATION.
IN GOD WE TRUST.
YOURS IN SERVICE,
JAMES B COMEY