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:
- "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. )
- "activation 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. )
- "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.
- 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: "Mr.Chris Mark" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 May 2021 11:30:28 +0100
Subject: CONTACT UPS FOR YOUR ATM CARD PACKAGE
UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA INTERNATIONAL
UNITED BANK Heights Plot 87 Ajose
Adeogun Street,Cotonou Benin Republic
This is to bring your notice that,I have paid the re_activation fee
and the delivery of your atm master card,I paid it because the ATM
MASTER CARD code is 8119 and the US$3.7 million inside the card has
less than fifteen days to expire,and when it expires the money inside
will go into the government purse.
with that i have decided to help you pay the money so that the ATM
MASTER CARD will not expire,because I know that when you get your ATM
MASTER CARD definitely you must pay me back my money and even
compensate me for helping you.Now i want you to contact UPS DELIVER
COMPANY with your full delivery information such as.
Here is the information they needed from you:
1) Your Name:...
4) Home Address:..
6) Identity Card Or Passport:...
So that they can deliver your ATM MASTER CARD to your designated home
address without any more delay.like i stated early the delivery
charges has been paid but i did not pay their official keeping charges
since they refused,and they did it because they do not know when you
are going to contact them and the demurrage might have increase,they
told me that their keeping charges is $25 ,per day and i deposited it
Saturday evening been the 8TH of May 2021.call him as soon as you
receive this email.
Below is their contact Information.
Contact person: Mr.Ian Hood
UPS DELIVERY COMPANY
Phone number: +229-67573205
Contact them today to avoid an increase of their official keeping
fee.and let me know once you receive your ATM MASTER CARD.
CONTACT UPS FOR YOUR ATM CARD PACKAGE