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. )
- "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.
- 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. LINDA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 08:55:04 -0700
Subject: FROM DHL OFFICE!!
we have registered your ATM CARD of $5.5Million with TNT Express Courier
Company with registration code of ( TCJKT00678G). please Contact with your
Delivery information such as, Your Name, Your Address ID CARD COPY and
Your Telephone Number to avoid wrong delivering:
TNT GLOBAL DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC
Address: Plot 5,
Government residential area
Branch (GRA) Way, Ayaboninsa
Avenue, Benin Republic.
Name of Director: Dr Marvin Jerry
Phone +229 9925-0299
I have paid for the Insurance & Delivery fee, the only fee you have to pay Is
their Security keeping fee only. Please indicate the registration Number
And ask Him how much is Their Security fee so that you can pay it.
I am waiting to hear from you once you receive your ATM CARD and make sureThat
you follow all they instruction to enable them deliver your package For
Mrs. Linda Daivd
In Charge UBA ATM CARD