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:
- "express courier delivery" (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. )
- "million dollars" (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)
- 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: "United Nations Compensation" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 15:48:57 +0100
Subject: RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT.
This email is to notify you about the release of your outstanding payment which is truly $2.500,000.00 Million Dollars The United Nation Secretary General scheduled a time frame to settle all foreign debts which includes
Humanitarian self support, Contract/Inheritance/Lottery (Sponsored by Microsoft and Shell Petrolum Lottery) and other international loans, Your Name was among the people to receive $2.500,000.00 Million Dollars Compensation winning award by United Nations,
We have successfully Converted this total amount into an ATM Card in your name, And it has been approved and deposited to A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company this morning for registration, and we agreed that, the delivery of your $2.500,000.00 Million USD ATM-Card Package will take off tomorrow morning,
The information of the A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company is below;
Contact Name Dr. Patrick Mupenda
From A.D.L Express Courier Delivery Company
So contact with your full info where your ATM-card will be delivered to,
(1) Full Name:..........
(2) Mobile Number:.............
(3) Direct telephone number:............
(4) Country of origin:......................
(5) Your Current delivery address:................
(6) YOUR Identification Card/Driver's License:...............................
Urgent get back to us today with your full address where your ATM-Card will be delivered to you because I will not be in the office next week;
The amount in your ATM-Card is US$ 2.500, 000.00 Million and your Pin code is: (9106).
Mr. Douglas Herman
United Nation Head Quarter Dept Reconciliation Committee