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. )
- "courier service" (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: "Dr. Kingsley Moghalu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2018 22:29:23 -0700
Subject: YOUR ATM VISA CARD REGISTRATION NUMBER OF (DCJKT00678G)
This is to bring to your notice that I have registered your ATM visa
card of ($8.5 Million USD) with the United Parcel Service (UPS)
Courier Service Benin Republic after our final meeting regarding your
funds, all you will do is to contact UPS Director Mr. Frank L. Edward
via E-mail: email@example.com, he will give you direction
on how you will be receiving your ATM visa card. Remember to send him
your full details to avoid wrong delivery such as,
Current Phone Number:......
A copy of your:............
Please contact with your delivery information, you can also call him
+229-62084830 as soon as you receive this message and tell him to give
you direction on how you will be receiving your ATM card of
($8.5Million USD). I have paid for the insurance & delivery fee. The
only fee you have to pay is their security keeping fee only. Please
indicate the registration Number of ( DCJKT00678G ) and ask him how
much is their security fee so that you can pay it. On this note, I am
pleased to inform you that ATM card Number is (4834 6030 0311 8473)
for the sum of $8.5 Million has been credited in your favor and ready
for immediate delivery to you. The PIN and all necessary user guides
will be attached on delivery (intact in the ATM card package doc.)
which will be delivered to you by the UPS courier service, for your
easy use. Please do let me know as soon as you received your ATM visa
Dr. Kingsley Moghalu
Office of the Deputy Governor