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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: Rev Charles Bramie <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Rev Charles Bramie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2015 00:28:51 +0000 (UTC)
Â Dear Friend,
Greetings to you & your Family. I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Confirm-able Bank Draft of ($1.5 MILLION) United States Dollars, but didn't hear from you since.
Then i went and deposited the Draft withÂ Sky Express Delivery Company Cotonou BENINÂ REPUBLIC, before I traveled out of the country for a short Course and i will not come back till end of next Month.
What you have to do now is to contact Sky Express Delivery Company 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 Charges, The only money you will pay to Sky Courier & Security Company to deliver your Draft direct to your postal Address in your country is ($98.00) only being their Security Keeping Fee of the Courier Company so far.
Again, Do not be deceive by anybody to pay any other money except $98.00, I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of demur-rage.You have to contact the Sky Express Delivery Company now for the delivery of your Draft with this information bellow.
E-mail ...........................Â email@example.com
Phone...........................Â +229 984 301 44
RegistrationÂ No.........Â wwdsc/xxx/100
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and 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 $98.00 for their immediate action.
You should also Let me know through email as soon as you receive your Draft.
Note; Sky Express Delivery Company do not know the contents of the parcel. I registered it asÂ my photograph (pic) being sent to a friend overseas.
They do not know that it contains a bank draft of such a huge amount of money, this is to avoid them tempering with the package. Do not let them know the contents of the parcel.
I am waiting to hear the good news from you.
Rev Charles Bramie