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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: ATM CARD DELIVERY
Date: Thu, 26 Nov 2015 21:05:48 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS , YOUR ATM CARD HAS BEEN SENT TO YOU
ATTENTION DEAR FRIEND,
I am Benard Darlington , a highly placed official of the Spanish Customs
officer working in Benin in West african region. It may interest you to know
that reports have reached our office by so many correspondences on the uneasy
way which people like you are treated by Various Banks and Courier Companies
across Europe to Africa and Asia and we have decided to put a stop to it, and
that is why I was appointed to handle the delivery of the consignment direct
to you. Your funds has been sent to you through ATM MASTER CARD.
You are hereby advised not to remit further payment to any institutions
here in Benin or London with respect to your transaction as your fund will
be delivered to you directly from a very respectable courier company. I hope
this is clear. Any action contrary to this instruction is at your own risk.
The ATM CARD contained US$1.2Million .You have to email them right now with your
full names/phone number and correct house address to avoid wrong delivery .
The shipment of the original ATM CARD will cost you $60 only and that's the only money you will pay. Go ahead now and ask them to give you the name you will send the shipping fee $60 to . This is 100% risk free . The ATM CARD is there now .
Name : EXCESS DELIVERY SERVICES
E-mail : email@example.com
Phone : +22998429596
Respond to them immediately as soon as you receive this email so that you
will be given an immediate response on how the shipping company can locate your city/house address :
SPANISH CUSTOMS SERVICE