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. )
- 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.
- +447024035685 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "British High Commission." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 May 2015 18:35:23 -0700
Subject: You Pending Fund Is Ready Sir/Madam.
The British High Commission in Benin Republic,Ghana and Burkinafaso,Nigeria,received a report of scam against you and other British/US citizens and Malaysia,Etc. whom the country of Nigeria/Benin,Burkinafaso And Ghana have compensated you due to meeting held with Government Four countries and the world high commissions against fraud activities by the Citizens of Four country. Your name and the names of those victims whose emails address i have sent along for your perusal was listed by the Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU). A compensation has been issued out in ATM CARD to all the affected victims and has been already in distribution to all the bearers.
Your ATM CARD was among those that was reported undelivered and we wish to advise you to see the instructions of the Committee to make sure you receive your ATM CARD immediately for your own use. 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 Nigeria and Ghana and thereby have made a concrete arrangement with SPEEDYEX EXPRESS DELIVERY 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 compensation immediately. You are assured of the safety of your ATM CARD and availability and be advised that you should stop further contacts with all the fake lawyers and security companies who in collaboration scammed you.
In the meeting, the new finance Minister of Nigeria (DR. NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA) said it is awesome and has been approved for all the foreigners who have fund transfer in Nigeria to receive through ATM CARD because it is safety and secure, also security wise, because there is too much delay in Bank transfer.
Contact Mr.John Kelly of Ministry of Finance, with below information,As he is responsible for handling and effecting your redression also reconfirm your information to him such as
Your full name:
occupation and age;
NAME: Mrs. Annie Catherine M.
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Yours in Service,
Dr Andrew Pocock
CONSULER BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION