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:
- 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. )
- "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 service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:19:03 -0500
Subject: F.B.IGOOD NEWS,
FBI HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
J.EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
935 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515-0001.
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 UNITED STATES DOCUMENT LIKE (UNITED STATES PATRIOT
ACT) WHICH WE STRETCHED TO HAVE A STRUNG AGREEMENT OVER THE PAYMENT THAT
WILL COST YOU ONLY $125 USD ONLY FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM SMART CARD
VIA UPS OR FEDEX DELIVERING COMPANY.
HOWEVER, YOU HAVE ONLY TWO
WORKING DAYS TO SEND THIS $125 U.S. DOLLARS JAMES WILLIAMS FOR
DELIVERING OF YOUR CARD, IF WE DONâT 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 IN 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 INCASE YOU RECEIVED ANY E-MAILS, OR CALLS REGARDING
TO THIS FROM ANY INDIVIDUALS CLAIMED TO BE ME, OR E-MAILS,
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
UNDERSTAND THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING
MOREOVER, FIRST BATCH OF YOUR CARD WHICH
CONTAINS $3,000.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS HAS BEEN ACTIVATED AND IS
THE TOTAL FUND LOADED INSIDE THE CARD. YOUR FUND WHICH IS IN TOTAL
10,500.000.00 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS WILL COME IN BATCHES OF 3,000.000.00
MILLION U.S. DOLLARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST BATCH.
WOULD BE SENT TO YOU VIA UPS OR FEDEX, BECAUSE WE HAVE SIGNED A CONTRACT
WITH THEM WHICH SHOULD EXPIRE BY JAN 30. BELOW ARE FEW LIST OF TRACKING
NUMBERS YOU CAN TRACK FROM UPS WEBSITE (WWW.UPS.COM) TO CONFIRM PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO HAVE RECEIVED THEIR PAYMENT SUCCESSFULLY.
JOHNNY ALMANTE ==============1Z2X59394198080570
GARY METZGER ==============1Z2X59394195952759
GLEN PAPANIKAS ==============1Z2X59394198690947
CAROL R BUCZYNSKI
KARIMA EMELIA TAYLOR ==============1Z2X59394198591527
LISA LAIRD ==============1Z2X59394196641913
POLLY SHAYKIN ==============1Z2X59394198817702
MOREOVER, THIS IS ANOTHER PEOPLE THAT RECEIVED THERE PAYMENT THROUGH FEDEX WEBSITE (WWW.FEDEX.COM).
RICHARD AUTRY ============== 869713119185
GARY METZGER ============== 871363130860
MARK STUBBS ==============871363116168
HOWEVER, WE HEREBY ADVISED YOU THAT BASED ON OUR
RECOMMENDATION/INSTRUCTIONS YOUR COMPLETE
OVER-DUE FUNDS WILL BE RELEASED IMMEDIATELY UPON YOUR CONTACT TO THE
NEWLY APPOINTED PAYMENT OFFICER THAT WILL HAND OVER YOUR ATM CARD TO UPS
COURIER COMPANY WITH THE PAYMENT FOR DELIVERY OF YOUR PACKAGED. YOU ARE
THEREFORE ADVISED TO CONTACT JAMES WILLIAMS APPOINTED DIRECTOR ATM
SWIFT CARD/FOREIGN OPERATION DEPT CITIBANK IN NIGERIA AND ASK HIM HOW
YOU CAN MAKE THE PAYMENT OF US$125 FOR THE DELIVERY OF YOUR ATM
CARD THROUGH COURIER SERVICE.
CONTACT PERSON: JAMES WILLIAMS
PRIVATE EMAIL ADDRESS:firstname.lastname@example.org
PRIVATE DIRECT TEL +234-8080490984
ADVISED TO CONTACT HIM IMMEDIATELY SO AS TO ENABLE HIM FACILITATE THE
SPEEDY PROCESSING AND RELEASE OF YOUR ATM CARD DELIVERY SINCE IS THE
ONLY $125USD THAT IS KEEPING YOUR CARD THEIR IN AFRICA . CONTACT HIM
WITH THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION AS BELOW:
1.YOUR FULL NAME............................
2.CONTACT ADDRESS .........................................
5.PHONES AND FAX NUMBER..................
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 DELIVERY
EFFECTIVELY THEREBY MAKING CONTACT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
AS DIRECTED TO AVOID FURTHER DELAY.
YOUâRE 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 JR