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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 Alex Kim" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2017 18:07:48 -0800
Subject: My Dear,
CONTRACT PAYMENT BY CASH CALL SYSTEM
Sequel to the secret arrangement in regards to the Shipment of your total contract sum(US$15m)., I wish to inform you that all necessary modalities have been automatically concluded and the fund has left C.B.N office through the Diplomatic Courier Services today by Express Cargo Flight to your home country.
Note carefully that the content of the box are your total contract value but the CBN did not disclose the content to the Courier Services, rather it was registered as Vital "DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS" belonging to the CBN client (That?you).
Furthermore, the box is in number and about 75kg. However, you are advised not to disclose the content of the box to the Courier Services to avoid Betrayal in any circumstances In the mean time, you are kindly advised to furnish us with your direct telephone/mobile number, your valid I.D/Drivers License and your office/house address or where ever you wish to receive the diplomat to enable him identify you when he arrives to your address with the box For more information, we advise you to contact this office as soon as you receive this mail to enable us fax you the necessary documents which you will need to deposit your funds into your bank account.
Congratulations and remain blessed.
Dr Alex Kim