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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "insurance 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)
- ",000,000" (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.
- 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: "Mr.Garry L.Sconford." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 10:18:05 +0100
Subject: CONTACT ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your consignment but i did not heard anything from you since then, I have deposited the US$5,000,000.00 with the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY here in Nigeria, because I traveled to Japan to see my boss and I will not come back till next year ending.I have arranged with the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY to get your US$5,000,000.00 to you this month and they will be coming to you with the fund inside black portfolio, I would have deposited the fund with Bank for transfer into your own account but the procedure of Bank is too much and they will required enough fee.
I drop your delivery details with the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY but I will like you to re-confirm the information to them again so that they will not be any mistake when coming with the fund. Send the below information to the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY.
I want you to know that you have all right to declare how you want to receive your fund, I would have prefer the fund to be transfer to you but I make some searches about the Bank transfer and they told me that it will cost you the sum of US$1500 to transfer the US$5,000,000.00 into your account.But I have deposited the US$5,000,000.00 in cash to the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY, below is the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY contact.
Director: Mr. Chris Ndu
I have paid the delivery charges and insurance fee to the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY. The only Money that the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY will r require from you is $105 Dollars for demur-rage, if you can pay the $105 Dollars to them, they will proceed and get the US$5,000,000.00 to you in your Country.Ps if you want to contact the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY, you are to contact them with your portfolio code number which is (PPL111RSS) and your address where you want them to deliver the cash to.
You are to pay the $105 to the ALINCO SECURITY COMPANY to enable them to proceed and get the cash to you, don't fail to resend your information to them for your own good.