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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "UPS COURIER " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 07 Dec 2014 23:42:35 +0100
This email is coming to you as a constant reminder from the UPS parcel originating office concerning your pending package which has been held up in our Oversea parcel custodian office. The Package contains an international confirmation Bank Draft in your favour worth $1,260,000.00 US Dollars only. To track the availability of your package, Visit http://www.ups.com and insert the tracking number and check the Shipment Progress and location
TRACKING NUMBER: 1Z9575R2P297341747
We hereby advised you to reconfirm and contact us with your FULL NAMES; POSTAL ADDRESS; TELEPHONE NUMBER. The information should be directed to Mr.Joseph Olajide.Telephone: +234 808-960-5388.
This is our second and final notice in respect of the above subject matter. For urgent response and assistance, please call the above telephone number as soon as you have reconfirm your delivery address. Please note that in line with the condition of carriage, parcel clearance redirection/redelivery will be charge a mandatory payment of $180 US Dollars only.
Secretary: Ups Nigeria