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:
- "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. )
- "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.
- +22997529512 (Benin, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Excite, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- 1. contact person......lewis kennedy 2. director e-mail ( email@example.com) company-email...firstname.lastname@example.org) 3. (Excite; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "james william" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2009 14:40:17 +0100
Subject: CONTACT D.H.L DIRECTOR FOR YOUR BOX
I have been expecting your call since two days now, the new EXCUTIVE in their last meeting has reach
An agreement with the issued bank about your fund $4,200,000,00 million USD,the bank has final accept and
Release the money in cash, right now your FUND has been successfully deposited at D.H.L COURIER
COMPANY here in BENIN REP WITH REG- NUM...XQD7819-SC. my dear, the small box was not registered
As FUND but as church evangelism tracks box therefore do not disclose the content of the box to anybody
For security reasons, here is the the courier contact information and all you are expected to do now and
Receive your long waiting money ($4, 200, 000, 00 million USD) in cash.
HERE ARE THEIR CONTACT ADDRESS
1. CONTACT PERSON......LEWIS KENNEDY
2. DIRECTOR E-mail ( email@example.com)
3. PHONE NUMBER...+229-975-295-12
My dear accept the security keeping fee of $34.00 per day all the money and document regarding the delivering
of your box has been paid and handed over to D.H.L COURIER COMPANY therefore call the director and
Confirm their arrival date as your send their fee immediately. Contact them immediately for your box.
CONTACT THEM WITH THIS INFORMATIONS
1...YOUR FULL NAME.............................
2...YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS..............
3...YOUR PHONE NUMBER.....................
4.. REG- NUM..............XQD7819-SC
5.. DEPOSITOR NAME.......WILLIAM SCARLET
6...DAILY SECURITY KEEPING FEE....$34.00
Make sure your information is correct so that they will not deliver your box to the wrong person I believe you
Should treat this letter with some conffideciality until you receive your fund and always remember to address
The box as church evangelism tracks until you receive it,
SEC WILLIAM SCARLET