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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- ",500,000" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr John" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 6 Jul 2011 20:14:43 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Contact the Graylink ccourier service
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your Bank Draft of $1,500,000 but did not hear from you since that time ,then I went and deposited the Draft with Graylink Couriers Service Company here in Benin Republic, because I traveled out of the country and will not come back till later in the year.
You have to contact the Graylink Courier Service Company to know when they will deliver your package.I have paid for the delivering charges and insurance fee. The only money you have to send to them is there security keeping fee which is $99.00 Us Dollars to received your package. Don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money apart from the $99.00
Dr. Lauren Uena Director Graylink Courier company
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid increasing the security keeping fee.I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm it to them again to avoid any mistake in the delivering your parcel. Let me know as soon as you receive your Draft.
Dr. John Nyeaku (Hon)