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:
- 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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "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:
From: "Mr. Philip Raymond" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 02:38:56 -0500
Subject: CONTACT EMS EXPRESS
Courage my dear, I know you will be waiting for the arrival of your Consignment Containing the total amount of your ($ 8.5 million) cash payment compensation Which was sent to you and later returned back due to wrong address provided, I Think there is a mistake in the address giving to me and that has cost me a lot Of strength, thank God that it returned back safely. The only thing left for you To do now is to contact (EMS Courier Express Company) this is the ompany in Charge of delivering your consignment box containing the ($ 8.5 million)
Again let me repeat.
Contact Person: Mr. Frank Williams,
(Delivery Department Managing Director)
E-mail ( email@example.com )
For the purpose of clarification, it is advised that the entire fee has been
Paid for the delivery so all that you will have to pay is only $190 dollar
That You will have to send to their security office as charges for the safe
Keeping Fee of your returning box. Please do not be deceived by anyone and be
Advised to Reconfirm..
YOUR FULL NAME..............
MOBILE PHONE NUMBER...........
In addition to what I said earlier, please do not dispose the content of the box
To them to avoid delay and finally endeavor to indicate this CODE N?(GL-14160)
This is the box code and it shows that you are the rightful owner of the box
Deposited in their company, you will use it as your subject when contacting
After sending the security keeping fee 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 and ask them how you will make the security fee of $190 used to them to
Avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping
fee of $190 US Dollars for their immediate action you can aslo contact them
on thier private cell phone number +234 807 496 8593
Mr. Philip Raymond