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:
- "00,000.00" (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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "email@example.com" (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: "Mrs. Rose William" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2017 13:27:06 +0100
Subject: Re: Re: Your Cheque Contact.
Hello My Dear,
How are you doing? I was shocked you stopped communicating me, I really can't understand your reason for doing so, but I am very happy now to inform you about my success in getting the fund transfer out of the bank with the help of a staff working in the remittance department and also with the special assistance of a French business woman that catered for other logistics.
However, I have issue a cheque of $800,000.00 dollars only in your favour and drop with Trans Package Express Courier Services. Insurance and delivery charges have been paid by me, because I was unable to make the funds transfer to your bank account since I don't have your bank details and I am going out of Benin aboard for a period of 4 months to meet up with my business colleagues in Russia. I will be heading to the airport as soon as I send you this email.
However, the $125.00 dollars was not paid for because of demur-rage. Well, do forward your address to avoid wrong delivery and when contacting them, I advise you to quote the parcel and shipment code to them for onward delivery to your re-confirmed address. Your Cheque is international standard and cashable anywhere in the world.Therefore,forward the following when contacting Trans Package Express Courier Services:Your Name, Your Delivery Address, Your Phone Number and code below.
Contact: MR. Dohami Stanislas
Director Trans Package Logistics Delivery Company
C/65, Sikecodj, Cotonou, Republic of Benin
Tel: Tel: +229 68796302 Telfax: +229 30 22 025
Shipment Code: TPD/00977-667642
Parcel Number: 6971001-004
Mrs. Rose William
The information contained in this communication and attachment is confidential and
is intended only for the use of the recipient to which this communication is addressed.Any disclosure,
copying or distribution of this communication without the sender's consents is strictly prohibited.
If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete this ommunication
entirely without using, retaining, or disclosing any of its contents.
Internet communications cannot be guaranteed to be virus-free. The recipient is responsible for
ensuring that this communication is virus free and the sender accepts no liability for any
damages caused by virus transmitted by this communication.