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. )
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Mr.William Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2016 12:16:33 +0100
Subject: CONTACT THE COURIER EXPRESS DELIVERING COMPANY FOR YOUR ATM VISA CARD OF
Dear Unpaid Beneficiary.
I have been waiting for you since to contact us for your loaded ATM
CARD of $2.5MillionUSD United States Dollars which we discussed on phone
when you traveled to your country uganda and you said you will get
back to me with your details but to no avail ,anywhere just want to
inform you that your fund of $2.5MillionUSD has already loaded Side
ATM Visa Card and you can withdraw the money in an ATM MACHINE in any
part of the world and the maximum you can withdraw a day is $5,500,but
I did not hard from you since that time ,Then i decided to deposited
the package ATM CARD with Courier Express Delivering Company ,Accra,
Ghana as I traveled out of the country for a short Course and I will
not come back till end of JULY 2016.
What you have to do now is to contact the Courier Express Delivering
company as soon as possible to know when they will deliver your
package to you because of misplacement of your card. For your
information, I have paid for the delivering Charges,and You are advise
to for their their legal Official Secret Keeping fee of $1150USD for
the Courier company to deliver your ATM CARD direct to your postal
Address in your country.
You have to contact the Courier Express Delivering Company manager
for the delivery of your ATM CARD package with this information
HERE IS THE COURIER EXPRESS DELIVERING COMPANY INFORMATION'S.
COURIER NAME: COURIER EXPRESS DELIVERING COMPANY .
CONTACT PERSON: DR GEORGE KUFU
POSITION: FOREIGN DELIVERY DEPARTMENT.
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your full name,your Postal
address or your home address and direct telephone number to them again
to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and ask them to give you the
tracking number to enable you track your package over there and know
when it will get to your address. Let me repeat again, try to contact
them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and
remember to pay them their Security Keeping fees of $1150USD for their
immediate action. As a matter of facts, make sure as the rightful
beneficiary of the ATM CARD package of $2.5MillionUSD,you must contact
them by indicating the code (26613058) to enable them deliver the ATM
package as they have it in their record.
Thanks and God Bless
Director Foreign Remittance
Department of HFC BANK Ghana.