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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "courier service" (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 fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- 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: "Mrs. Kate Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 04.31.46 +0200
Subject: Contact Rev.Dr Charles Mike immediately for your draft
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting your winning funds
under the cooperation of a new partner from South Africa. Presently I'm in South
Africa for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. Mean
while,i did not forget your past efforts and attempts to get your winnings despite
that failed somehow.
I have made a deposit of $100.000.00 (ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS)in
addition to your lottery winnings of $50.000.00 now amounting to $150,000.00
(One Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) to FedEx Courier
Delivery service to be delivered to you. All you have to do now is to kindly
contact FedEx Courier with their contact details below.
FedEx COURIER SERVICES
CONTACT PERSON:REV.DR CHARLES MIKE
Ask him to send you the total $150,000.00 (One Hundred And Fifty Thousand
United States Dollars) certified bank Check, which I raised in your favor
for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempt in this issue. I
really appreciate your efforts at that time very much.
NOTE: You are to send the FedEx Courier the sum of $160.00 USD for the
delivery of the Bank Draft, and do not be deceived by anyone to send more than $160.00
I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you
will contact them and in case of demurrage.
I want you to contact them immediately you receive this notification
letter and make sure you send them their Delivery fee of $160.00 USD only, which I
told you earlier.
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm :
1. Full Name:
2. Full Address:
6. Telephone Number:
8. Nearest Airport:
As soon as you get this Bank Draft by FedEx, please let me know.
By Mrs. Kate Williams
Copyright C 2011. All rights reserved.