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: Jonson Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Jonson Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:05:58 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CONTACT UPS COURIER COMPANY FOR YOUR CONSIGNMENT WORTH $3.5M USD.
Attention to you personally!
Good day once again.
I have been waiting for you since to contact me for your Conformable Bank Draft of $3.5m
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 $3.5m 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 June 2015.
What you have to do now is to contact UPS 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 UPS COURIER SERVICES to deliver your package direct
to your postal Address in your country is ($125.00 US) One Hundred twenty 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 accept $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 UPS COURIER SERVICES now for the delivery of your $3.5m USD CASH with
this information bellow;
Directors Name: Dr. EMMANUEL KOFFI
Company's Name:UPS COURIER SERVICES
Email Address: (email@example.com)
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 UPS 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. Don't let them know that box contains 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
Thanks and God bless you and your family.