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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Dr Nelson Paul <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Dr Nelson Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 20:44:33 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Happy New Year dear valued beneficiary,
Â Happy New Year dear valued beneficiary,
I just received a call from the Director of dhl Courier Company Benin that your ATM CARD that was sent to you last year was returned due to wrong address, Your worth $4.7 Millions Dollars confirmed to be your over due inheritance contractual compensation fund. Therefore call the director (Mr. Frank leuma) on Tel Phone: (+229 99746505) email address: (email@example.com) and give him Your correct address and Phone number. Use this code (XA-8550) as the subject of your mail to them for identification.
Dr Nelson Paul
United nation commissioner.