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. )
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "DR. JOHN BEN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2012 00:19:31 +0100
Subject: Contact Global Speed Courier Company Ltd For Your $2.5 Million USA Dollars.
I have paid the fee for your Cheque Draft. But the manager of UBA Bank Benin told me that before the check will get to you that it will expire. So I told him to cash $2.5 Million USA Dollar all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $2.5 Million USA Dollar in cash was made with Global Speed Courier Company Ltd. This is the courier company information on how you will going to contact them for them to deliver your package to you in your home address.
Contact Person: Dr. Frank Gomez
Tel: +229 970 46 880
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from you.
1. YOUR FULL NAME:
2. YOUR COUNTRY:
3. YOUR HOME ADDRESS:
4. YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER:
5. YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE:
6. A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE ATTACHED
7. COMPANY REGISTRATION NO BAX956253
8. CODE NUMBER 9865485
I also want to remained you that $3000.00 was deducted from the total sum and this amount includes the registration and the delivery fee which is $500.00 and $2500.00 of the barrister that did the job, The only money you will send to the company to deliver your package box direct to your Address in your country is $99 dollars for their security keeping fee Please make sure you send this needed information above to the Director General of Global Speed Courier Company Ltd Dr Frank Gomez with the address given to you above.
Note. The Global Speed Courier Company Ltd doesn't know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a Box of cloths. They don't know it contents money. This is to avoid them delaying with the Box. Don't let them know that is money that is in that Box. I am waiting for your urgent response. You can even call the Director of DHL Courier Company Ltd with this line +229 97046880
Thanks and Remain Blessed,
United Bank For Africa.