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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (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 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: James Kadri <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 08:31:17 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Contact UPS Now!
I want to thank you for helping me out with my transaction which went successfully through the help of another partner and I am now investing my own share of the fund. I was meant to understand that you have not received your compensation as of yet due to some certain circumstances.
Having reviewed all the obstacles and problems surrounding the transfer of your compensation payment of US$2,500,000.00 and your inability to meet up with some charges levied against you due to the past transfer options, I have concluded an arrangement with the Board of Directors of Bank Of Africa (BOA) to issue you an ATM CARD where your payment will be uploaded and mailed to you through courier service.
I was just notified by the board of directors of BOA that your compensation Payment has now been uploaded into this CORPORATE VISA CARD and also registered with UPS courier for delivery to you.
For your information, The delivery charges has been paid and your package is supposed to have been shipped to you but they insisted that you must re-confirm to them your current delivery address to ensure accurate delivery.
MOST IMPORTANT: Due to the content of the package, UPS mandated that before your package will be shipped, Customs Duty Tag must be procured according to the New Customs working policy, the essence of such Document is to ensure a hitch-free delivery and the amount for this Customs Duty Tag is only US$255.99.
Therefore reconfirm your current delivery address (i.e 1. Full Names, 2. Delivery Address and 3. Telephone Number) to UPS courier in the name of:
BP485, 3 Rue du Gouverneur Fourn
Tel: +229 9923 8528
Contact UPS immediately and re-confirm your current delivery address and phone numbers as requested to enable them deliver the package to you once you have sent them the fee for the Customs Duty Tag.
Mr. James Kadri