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:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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: DHL COURIER COMPANY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: DHL COURIER COMPANY <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 16 May 2015 08:02:13 +0900 (JST)
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION FROM DHL COMPANY (YOUR ATM CARD)
This is DHL Courier Delivery Company of Republic OF Benin , the management of this
company wishes to inform you that we received a parcel containing an ATM
Master Card valued ($4.7million) with some vital documents attached on it,
for safety delivery to your residential address in your country.
This parcel was brought to us this morning by the ATM Card payment office
Republic of Benin, with the below information, please reconfirm the below
information to avoid delivery of your ATM Master Card to wrong hand.
Parcel Owner Address......
We will register your package and send you the tracking numbers before we
proceed for safety delivery of your package as soon as you reconfirm the
required information for safety delivery.
Thanks for adhering to this instruction
Reply accordingly for more directives
We await your soonest response with the required information while
we look forward to serve you with the best of our service
Phone Call:(+229 99757638)
Dispatch Manager DHL Courier
for the Cotonou branch manager
DHL Express Service Republic OF Benin