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:
- "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. )
- "courier company" (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 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: "Mrs. Edna Anderson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 5 May 2012 22:41:25 +0100
Subject: YOUR ATM CARD DELIVERY
I have been waiting for you since to come down here and pick your ATM CARD but I did not heared from you since that time as
we fixed.Then I went and deposited the ATM CARD worth $1.500 000.00 Million USA Dollars,as parcel which is to be delivered to
you by the DHL COURIER COMPANY LIMITED in Benin Republic.I want You to contact the DHL COURIER COMPANY LIMITED to know when
they will deliver your parcel. I have paid for the delivering charges.The only money you have to send to them is the security
CONTACT PERSON; DR.ANDY ASAMA DISTRICT
MANAGER DHL Courier Company Limited BENIN REPUBLIC.
E-mail:( email@example.com )
CONTACT PHONE +229-682-211-30
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid increasing the security keeping fee. I gave them your delivering address but
you have to reconfirm it to them again to avoid any mistake in delivering the parcel containing your ATM CARD to the address
you you recomfirmed to them.
Your Full Name---------------
I await your urgent email responds as soon as you contact them with your full delivery address so that there will be no delay
in delivering your ATM CARD to you.
Mrs. Edna Anderson