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:
- "million dollars" (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 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 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: Express Courier Company <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Express Courier Company <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:52:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Contact Dhl Express Courier Service
Complete of the day,
I have finally registered your Atm Card with Dhl Courier Company this morning after the agreement to pay you via Atm card which will allow you withdrawal from any automated teller machine around you. as we agreed, and the delivery will take off immediately you made contact with them based on my agreement with Dhl director Mr Jerry Bright, Contact them with your delivery information as follow
Dhl Direct Name: Mr Jerry Bright
Kindly reconfirm to them the following below information:
Your full name:...................
Your phone number:...............
A copy of your ID:..............
I will not be reach until Dec 31th, 2015. your amount credited in the ATM Card is $4.5 million Dollars, We Agree Up That The Delivery Of Your $4.5M ATM Card Will Take Off Tomorrow. So Contact Them With Your Full Info
Mrs Cherina Garcia
Contact Dhl Express Courier Service