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:
- 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. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- ",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)
- "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. )
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: "Pastor Kelvin Akin" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 22:43:52 +0100
Subject: Beloved One, Accept My Offer With Good Faith.
Greetings to you & your Family. I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Confirmable Bank Draft of $1,500,000.00 United States Dollars, but didn't hear from you since. Then i went and deposited your Bank Draft with Skyline Delivering Company,before I traveled out of the country for a short Course and will not come back till the end of this year. What you have to do now is to contact Skyline Delivering Company as soon as possible to know when they will deliver your Fund to you. For your information, I have paid for the delivering fee, The only money you will pay to courier & Security Company to deliver your Bank Draft($1,500,000.00) direct to your postal Address in your country is ($115) only, being their Security Keeping Fee of the Courier Company so far.
Again, Do not be deceive by anybody to pay any other money except $115, I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage.You have to contact Skyline Delivering Company now for the delivery of your Inheritance Fund($1,500,000.00) with this information bellow.
E-mail .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Reg. No.......... wwdsc/xxx/100
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your home address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the delivery and Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this E-mail to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping fee of $115 for their immediate action.You should also Let me know through E-mail as soon as you receive your Bank Draft.
Note: Skyline Delivering Company does not know the contents of the Package. I registered it as a Bible Gift sending to a friend overseas. They do not know that the Package contains such a huge amount of money, this is to avoid them tempering with the Package.Please, do not let them know the contents of the Package until you receive it. I am waiting to hear the good news from you.
Pastor Kelvin Akin