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:
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "EMEKA KELVIN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 22:39:03 -0800
Subject: YOUR PARCEL DELIVERY NOTIFICATION FROM FEDEX COMPANY
FedEx Nigeria Head Office
70 International Airport Road
Customers Service Hours--Monday to Saturday: Office Hours Monday to Sunday:
This is FedEx courier Delivery Company of Nigeria, the management of this
company, wishes to inform you that, we received a parcel containing an ATM
Master Card valued $2.5million USD with some vital documents attached on
it, for safety delivery to your residential address in your country.
This parcel was brought to us this morning by the ATM Card payment office
Nigeria, with the below information?s, please reconfirm the below
information, to avoid delivery your ATM Master Card to wrong hand.
Parcel owner address.....
We will register your package and send you the tracking numbers before we
proceed for safety delivery of your package as soon as you reconfirm the
required information?s for safety delivery.
FedEx is one of the world's great success stories, the start-up that
revolutionized the delivery of packages and information. In the past 30
years, we've grown up and grown into a diverse family of companies as
FedEx that's bigger, stronger, better than ever.
Waiting to read your e-mail(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Yours Urgent Reply is Needed
Mr. EMEKA KELVIN
Dispatch Manager FedEx Courier
for the Ikeja branch manager
FedEx express services Lagos -Nigeria