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:
- 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:
- "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 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: "Federai Bureau of Investigation" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:26:54 -0800
Subject: Your Payment of $11,500.000.00
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber
J. Edgar. Hoover Building Washington DC
Dear Beneficiary Good News For You,
Series of meetings have been held with the secretary general of the United Nations Organization over the past 7months. This ended 3 days ago.It is obvious that you have not received your fund worth $11,500.000.00 due to past corrupt Government Officials who have attempted to swindle your fund. which has led unnecessary delay in the release of your fund.
The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation have successfully passed a mandate to the current president of Nigeria his Excellency President Mohammadu Buhari to commence the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you and other individuals and organizations who have been found not to have received their Contract fund,Lottery/Gambling, Inheritance and the likes. Now how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?
We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $12,000 per day from any master card ATM machine,and the card have to be renewed after 4 years which will be in 2020. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your local bank account.
Check: To be deposited in your bank which will clear within three working days.Both the ATM and CHECK would be delivered to you via FedEx,a reputable courier company.the delivery will cost $90 usd. And we guarantee your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hours after the payment is confirmed.
To effect the release of your fund valued $11,500.000.00 you are advised to contact Mr.Martin George,operation manager FedEx Nigeria with the information
Name: Martin George
Cell Phone: +234-9097646315
You are advised to contact him with the information?'s as stated below:
Your full Name:-------
copy of valid ID:-----
Preferred Payment Method (ATM / Cashier Check)
James B. Comey
Federai Bureau of Investigation
J.Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue,