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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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:
- "demurrage " (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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Lauretta Davis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2016 17:53:47 +0100
Subject: ATM CARD DELIVERY
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the delivery charges for your Atm Card. I paid it because the Atm Card ($1,500,000) is about to expire and when it expires, the money will go into Government purse. With that I decided to help you pay the money so that, the Atm Card will not expire and become wasted, because I know when you get your Atm Card definitely you must pay me back my money and even compensate me for helping you.
Now I want you to contact FORTRESS DELIVERY SERVICE with your Full Contact information, so that they can deliver your Atm Card to your designated address without any delay. PLEASE NOTE, that the delivery charges has been paid but I did not pay their official keeping fees since they refused.
They refused because they do not know when you are going to contact them and the delivery demurrage might have increased. They told me that their keeping fee is $10 per day and I deposited it 6th of March, 2016.
Below is their Contact Information for you to reach them and claim your atm card.
Contact Person: Jamie Odion
Fortress Delivery Service
Phone: +1 (202) 999-1029
Contact Jamie with the above email and request for your atm card delivery to you.
Ms. Lauretta Davis