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. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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 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: "Mrs. Kennet Raymond" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2011 23:52:26 +0100
Subject: ***CONTACT THEM NOW WITHOUT DELAY***
I have been waiting for you to come down here and pick your $2.8 Million Dollars USD and i also call your phone and left you a message but I did not heard from you.
Then I went to transfer the $2.8 Million Dollars into AN INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED CHECK and deposited as a package to DAILY TRUST SECURITY COMPANY,REPUBLIC OF BENIN because I will travel out of the country TONIGHT and i can not allow them to deliver cash to you because of fraud and unable to deliver your consignment by the couriers company most of the time.
I want you to contact the DAILY TRUST SECURITY COMPANY,REPUBLIC OF BENIN to know when they will deliver your Parcel to you.
No body else knows about the CONTENT of the parcel. I have also paid for the delivery fee as we both concluded.
The only money you have to send to them now is the security keeping fee of your parcel which they said is $85 per day depending on when you contact them.
CONTACT PERSON: DR ADAMS JEFF
DAILY TRUST SECURITY COMPANY,REPUBLIC OF BENIN
REPUBLIC OF BENIN
Direct E-mail: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Company E-mail: email@example.com
Web site: http://dts-company.co.cc
Try to contact them as soon as possible today to avoid increasement in the security keeping fee.
I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm it to them again to avoid them making mistake in delivering.
Reconfirm below information to the company immediately and tracking number as soon as you send them the security fee.
I would have paid the security fee for you but they said no way because they dont know when you will contact them.
Let them know also that they should waste no time in sending to you the tracking number of your PARCEL so that you can be able to track it and know when it will arrive your country as soon as you send the security keeping fee to them.
Your Full Name
Your home Address
Your office Address
scan copy of your Identity
Mrs. Kennet Raymond