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:
- "stamp duty" (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 dollars" (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)
- "cotonou" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Erick Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Erick Moore <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2016 02:35:17 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Contact UPS Manager Benin, Mr. Erick Moore to receieve your ATM CARD,
Having reviewed all the obstacles and problems surrounding the transfer of your (USD$2.5 MILLION DOLLARS and your inability to meet up with some charges levied against you due to the past transfer options, We the Board of Directors, Bank Of Africa (BOA) has ordered our Foreign Payment Remittance Unit to issue you a CORPORATE ATM CARD where your payment will be uploaded and today, we got notice that your Payment has been uploaded into this CORPORATE ATM CARD and also have registered it with UPS for delivery to you.
For your information, The delivery charges has been paid and UPS delivery company were supposed to have shipped your packaged ATM CARD but they insisted that you must re-confirm to them your current delivery address to ensure accurate Delivery. MOST IMPORTANT:Due to the content of the package,UPS mandated that before your package will be shipped, A Tax/Stamp Duty MUST be procured according to the New Customs Creed and the essence of such Document is to ensure a hitch-free delivery.Therefore reconfirm your current delivery address for the delivery purpose
Contact UPS. Mr. Erick Moore
UPS International Benin
Lot No. 23 Patte D'Oie
03 BP 2147Cotonou
Fill the below information for the delivery purpose
We used ups company for this mission because every one knows how reliable and trusted the are according to their directors, a satisfactory service is given to customers with in 48 hours,we therefore advice you to have the requested informtion and the Tax/Stamp Duty fee fixed up quick to enable UPS hasten up with the delivery.
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