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. )
- "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)
- "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. )
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: N/C Miss Patricia Jonathan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2012 01:28:32 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: Contact Fedex Company For The Delivery of Your Consignment.
ATTENTION PLEASE MY DEAR.
I have paid the fee
for your Cheque draft and i took it to the FINANCIAL BANK PLC to confirm it then
the Manager of the Bank MR BENARD UGO told me that before the check can get to
you it will expire on the way and if it expired it will become useless so He
advice me to convert $8.5Million (EIGHT MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US
DOLLARS) into cash and pack it into the strong iron box and deposite it in
FEDEX EXPRESS DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC to deliver it in cash to you and
i did it as he advice me because he is a Banker he knows the durability of any
foriegn check or draft.
SHIPMENT CODE AWB
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
TRANSACTION CODE 233/CSTC/101/33028/
I deposited the
package in the Fedex Express Delivery Company as an cotton materials for
secuirty reasons.This is the registration Number of your Package
golrde/122p/mtm/1414, Zip Code;0113838 so do not let the company to know the
real contents of the package so that they can deliver it for you safely. I want
you to contact the company immediately with the following informations, i give
them your information but you need to reconfirm it for them again. Below is the
required infomation you need to give them now.
1.YOUR FULL NAME______________
6.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE
8.A COPY OF YOUR
10.YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT__________________
You will only pay their Security
Keeping Fee and all these things is needed from you now to submmit to the
company for urgent delivery of your package contains $8.5Million US Dollar
Please contact the FedEx Company immediately and reconfirm your information to
them to enable their agent locate you when he arrived in your country.
This is the company contact information.
DR. ROBERT KEOGH
FEDEX Express Delivery Company Benin
Email:( email@example.com )
Please contact the
company immediately you receive this email so that your package will leave
tonight immediately to deliver to you. Get back to me as soon as you receive
your package from the company.
Miss Patricia Jonathan,
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