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:
- "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.
- 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: "Mr Kc.Mahmud" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr Kc.Mahmud" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2014 09:24:32 +0000 (UTC)
Â YOUâRE REF: CLAIMS/ATM/201
I received a call from Dr.LARRY ELLISONÂ (DHL Courier Companyâs Director. Benin Republic) this morning regarding your ATM DEBIT CARD value of $2.8 Million USD. (A worldwide compensation for the current economic meltdown, World Bank assisted project) which I sent to you. The ATM debit card was returned to my office due to wrong delivery address provided to the DHL courier company. You are required to carefully fill your current information and forward it to the DHL courier company with the address bellow. Donât forget to call the DHL director on phone once you receive this E-mail for immediate delivery of your ATM CARD
1. YOUR FULL NAME_____
2. YOUR HOME ADDRESS______
3. YOUR DIRECT PHONE NUMBER ____
4. YOUR AGE/SEX______
5. YOUR COUNTRY_____
6. YOUR OCCUPATION_____
7. A SCAN COPY OF YOUR I.D CARD.
For your information, I have paid for the delivering charges of the ATM CARD again. The only money you will send to the DHL Courier Company to complete the delivery direct to your postal Address in your country is the sum of $95 dollar being the Security Keeping Fees of the DHL Courier Company.
DHL EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC
DR. LARRY ELLISON
Director: DHL foreign delivery department
Email: (email@example.com) Â
Your Identification code is (ATM-CARD/201) Remember, the only money to pay is the DHL courier company security keeping fee because I have paid for the delivery charges.