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:
- "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. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: DHL Express Delivery <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:53:33 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: YOUR PACKAGE NUMBER XQD7819.x1
THIS IS TO REMIND YOU THAT OUR ON GOING MASS DELIVERY WILL COME TO AN END ON
18TH SEPTEMBER 2014 AND WE WISH TO DELIVER ALL THE OLD DEPOSIT PACKAGES, TAKE
NOTE THAT YOUR ATM VISA CARD OF$2.5 USD WITH REG XQD7819.x1 IS HERE FOR VERY
LONG TIME NOW, THIS OFFICE HAS BEEN MANDATED FOR URGENT MASS DELIVERY AND YOU
COULD BE AMONG THE LUCKY ONES WITH JUST $45.00 FEE, URGENTLY CONTACT THE MASS
DELIVERY DIRECTOR WITH YOUR MASS DELIVERY PAYMENT
INFORMATION HERE IS THE
Receiver Name IKE UBA
REMEMBER TO INDICATE YOUR NAME, PHONE NUMBER,HOUSE ADDRESS AND YOUR PACKAGE
NUMBER TO THE OFFICE FOR EASY IDENTIFICATION AND DELIVERY, YOU HAVE ALL THE
RIGHT TO DEMAND FOR YOUR DELIVERY DATE AND TIME AFTER YOU HAVE SENT THE FEE
NOTE THIS PLEASE >>IF YOU RECEIVES THIS MASSAGE AFTER 18TH SEPTEMBER 2014
PLEASE DO NOT SEND THE FEE AS THE AS THIS OFFER COMES TO AN END ON THAT DATE.
CONTACT BILL GARDNER TODAY 13TH OF SEPTEMBER 2014
MASS DELIVERY DIRECTOR
DHL Express Delivery system (c)