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:
- "insurance fee " (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. )
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "million british pounds" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- +447031938571 (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: "Mother Celine Vanspauwen Hoche" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 01:26:01 -0800
Subject: CONTACT FEDEX COURIER FOR THE DELIVERY OF YOUR BANK DRAFT
I am sure this mail would be coming to you as a surprise since we have never met before and you would also be asking why I have decided to choose you amongst the numerous internet users in the world, precisely I cannot say why I have chosen you but do not be worried for I come in peace and something very positive is about to happen to your life right now and to the lives of others through you if only you can carefully read and digest the message below. The internet has made the world global villages where you can reach anybody you have not met before.
I am Mother Celine Vanspauwen Hoche, 89 Years old woman and the wife of Late Sir Hoche, Gabriel who died in a Plane crash on Monday the 7th of September 1998 GMT 14:22 UK while they were flying from New York to Geneva. Please see site below for more information. http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9809/swissair.victims.list/index.html
After the death of my husband I became the Head of his investment and now that I am old and weak I have decided to spend the rest of my life with my family and loved ones
Presently, I have willed out almost half of our assets to several charity homes and to some of the less privilege in different countries.I am sorry to inform you that you will never have the chance to know me because I have just concluded the assignment which my husband and I have agreed upon before his sudden death and you happened to be the beneficiary of our last WILL, irrespective of your previous financial status, hence I need you to do me a favor by accepting our offer that will cost you nothing.
I have presently deposited a BANK DRAFT in the sum of 2.8million British Pounds with FED EX COURIER DELIVERY SERVICE I have already paid for the insurance fee , the Delivery charges and the clearance but i did not pay for the security keeping fee of the BANK DRAFT becouse i was TOLD that the SECURITY KEEPING FEE is to be paid by the Recipent of the parcel.
You are to reconfirm the below information to them to avoid any mistake on the Delivery the securty keeping code of your parcel is (SC/UK/FD/963CH)Kindly forword the security Keeping Code to ;
Mr. Terry Moses(FEDEX Delivery Director)
His Phone Number;+447031938571
You are to reconfirm the below information to them to avoid any mistake on Delivery.
Your Postal address;
Your Full Names:
Your Direct telephone number;
Please be notified that I will no longer be reading my email or surfing the INTERNET as I have retired completely from the outside world to my ranch at this moment.
Mother Celine Vanspauwen Hoche,