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:
- "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. )
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "Frandic Emeli" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Mar 2016 06:57:28 -0800
Subject: NOTICE: YOUR ATM MASTER CARD
Hello My Dear,
I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Confirmable bank Draft of $4.5M United States Dollars but I did not hear from you since that time, then I decided to involve the issued bank to avoid losing of the funds, When i got to the bank, the director told me that the cheque has three weeks to expire that after three weeks it will be invalid then i told the director to convert the check into cash to avoid losing of the funds but he said i have to hire a lawyer before that can be done since the beneficiary that the cheque was on his or my boss that signed the cheque is not here, a lawyer will be involve for the signing and the procurement of vital documents needed for that.
I have no choice than to hire lawyer who will assist me on this matter as I was told by the bank to signed for the conversion of your cheque, After meeting with the bank lawyer who looked into the matter he told me that he will arrange for the documents as well as the signings for the bank to covert the check into cash payment but he said I should pay him $2500.00 for the job, then i explained to him that I don't have the money but pleaded with him that as soon as the job is done that the money will be deducted from the money before anything.The bank director also assured me that after the conversion of your check; the money will be converted and transfers to you through the medium of ATM MASTER CARD and deposited with the bank official security company for save keeping as well as the delivering of your ATM MASTER CARD to your home address.
Am happy to inform you that the job has-been done, the check has been converted into cash and is right there with DHL SERVEICE for deliver, remember that the ATM MASTER CARD package was registered as family valuables for security reasons and with a seal on it for security reasons. You can find the code number beside the package, there is a place in it they wrote ARS, when you open it through that side you will see the code.
I also want to remained you that $3000.00 was deducted from the total sum and this amount includes the registration and the delivery fee which is $500.00 and $2500.00 of the barrister that did the job, The only money you will send to the company to deliver your ATM package box direct to your Address in your country is $95 dollars for their security keeping fee.
CONTACT THEM ON THE INFORMATION BELOW AND ASK THEM WHERE TO SEND THE $95 FOR THEM TO DELIVER YOUR ATM PACKAGE TO YOU WITHOUT ANY DELAY.
Company Name: DHL Company(DHL) Security Department Benin Cotonou.
Contact Person: Mr Geadom Ikem.:
PHONE NUMBER +229(99247818)
Note; your ATM MASTER CARD package was register as family valuables, in no condition will you disclose the real content of your package to anybody till you receive it in your home for security reasons, Email the company, tell them your name, tell them that your agent registered your package with them for deliver ok, you can tell them my name, Remember they will ask you for followings:
Your Full Name................
Your Home Address..............
Youre current Numbers..............
Youre Cell Numbers...............
You personal identification............
Thanks yours in service