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:
- 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. )
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2018 05:36:49 -0400
Subject: YOUR Atm Visa Card DELIVERY NOTIFICATION!
YOUR Atm Visa Card DELIVERY NOTIFICATION!
ATTN: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION!
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the courier charges and the
delivery of your atm visa card .I paid it because the atm visa card worth
5.5,000,000.00 USD has less three weeks and four days to expire and when it
expires the money will go into Government reserve.With that I decided to help
you pay the money so that the atm visa card will not expire,
because I know when you get your atm visa card definitely you must compensate
me. Now your atm visa card has been deposited with UPS Courier Company for
delivery so I want you to contact Ups Courier Company with your
Full Contact information so that they can deliver your atm visa card to your
designated address without any delay. Like I stated earlier, the delivery
charges has been paid but i did not pay their security keeping fees since
Reasons for their refusal are because they do not know when you are going to
contact them. They told me that their keeping fee is $35per a day, and I
deposited it yesterday,
Below is their Contact Information's,
Contact Person: Dr TEDDY HARRI UPS Courier and Security Company
therefore Contact Today to avoid more increases of their keeping fees and let
me know once you receive your Atm visa card.
Waiting to hear from you as soon as you received this Atm visa card.
Mr.James K Udo