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. )
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "NIGERIA SENATE PRESIDENT" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 15 Jun 2014 13:20:48 -0700
Subject: YOUR PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442..
CONTACT DHL COURIER COMPANY NIGERIA
MOSAFA BEN & COUNSELORS AT LAW
06 BP 1409 AKPAKPA DODOME
WEST AFRICA NIGERIA
Happy new Happy!!!
I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Conformable Bank Draft of $14.5m United States Dollars, but I did not hear from you since for a couple of weeks now. Then I went to the bank to confirm if the draft has expired or getting near to expire and Dr.Wilson the Director Bank of London told me that before the draft will get to your hand that it will expire. So I told him to Convert the $14.5m USD UNITED STATES DOLLARS to CASH payment to avoid losing this funds under expiration as I will be out of the country for a 3 Months Course and I will not come back till ending of September 2014.
What you have to do now is to contact DHL COURIER SERVICE as soon as possible to know when they will deliver your package to you because of the expiring date. For your information, I have paid for the delivering Charge, Insurance premium.
The only money you will send to the DHL COURIER SERVICES to deliver your package direct to your postal Address in your country is ($125.00 US) One Hundred & Five United States Dollars only being Security Keeping Fee of the Courier Company so far.Again, don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except $125.00 US Dollars. I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of demurrage.
You have to contact DHL COURIER SERVICES now for the delivery of your $14.5M USD with this information bellow;
Directors Name: Dr. Mosafa Ben
Companys Name:DHL COURIER SERVICES
Email Address: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and ask them to give you the tracking number after payment to enable you track your package over there and know when it will get to your address. Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping fee of $125.00 US Dollars for their immediate action.
Note this. The DHL COURIER SERVICES don't know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a BOX of Africa cloths. They did not know the contents was money. this is to avoid them delaying with the BOX. Dont let them know that box contents money ok.
I am waiting for your urgent response.
SHIPMENT CODE AWB 33XZS
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
SECURITY CODE SCTC/2001DHX/567/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE SCTC/BUN/xxiv/-78/01
God bless you and your family.
Sir David. Orlando