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:
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (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: "Bar. Kenneth Okonkwo" <ken.@silver.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Bar. Kenneth Okonkwo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 09:43:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO BENIN
I'm Mr. W. Stuart Symington, U.S. Ambassador to Benin. This morning, as I was went to DHL Courier Company to pick up a package my adorable wife sent me as a birthday present, I decided to proceed to the DHL office with joy to pick it up myself and i saw abandoned parcels on the manager's office in the wardrobe storage, then on the wardrobe storage i saw American and European abandoned parcels, so i asked him why all these American and European parcels had not been delivered and he said that the owners had refused to pay for the security and inspection charges and that was why the DHL Managements decides to suspend the delivery until further notice.
I was really touched by the fact that this package contains an international bank draft worth $950,000.00 corresponding to your name, which constitutes a compensatory payment from the Government of Benin. I feel very bad because the bank draft will expire by the end of the month. I therefore asked the DHL manager to send me the details and the cost of delivery of this abandoned package within 48 hours. So I decided to pay for the inspection and security fee on your behalf as a surprise gift to you all.
Do not hesitate to contact my lawyer who will guide you and have your package delivered for your international bank draft to your destination in less than 48 hours. I spoke with the DHL manager and everything developed, you only have to renew your yellow tag paper with them and that's all you just need to do.
Contact Name: Bar. Kenneth Okonkwo
Contact Email: email@example.com
Contact Tel: +229 69 65 71 85 Call, SMS or WhatsApp
Contact him with your details below;
Your full name .............
Your delivery address..............
Direct mobile number .....................
These are the only details required from you for the renewal of your yellow tag paper, so kindly forward the above listed information to him.
Thank you as i await your responds.
Mr. W. Stuart Symington
United States Ambassador to Benin.