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:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united states 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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: Pastor Wilfrd James <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 May 2017 22:30:17 +0100
Subject: Good News From Pastor Wilfred James
Dear Beloved Friend
Greetings to you & your Family. I have been waiting for you to contact me for your Cashier Check of ( $1.5 MILLION United States Dollars ), but didn't hear from you for a long time. Then i went and deposited the Cashier Check with EXPRESS LINK DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC,before I traveled out of the country for a short Course and i will not come back till end of next Month.What you have to do now is to contact EXPRESS LINK DELIVERY COMPANY as soon as possible to know when they will deliver your package to you because of the expiring date. For your information, I have paid for the delivering Charges, The only money you will pay to courier & Security Company to deliver your Draft direct to your postal Address in your country is ($99 USD) only being their Security Keeping Fee of the Package.
Again, Do not be deceive by anybody to pay any other money except $99 USD, I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them and in case of any demurrage.You have to contact the EXPRESS LINK DELIVERY COMPANY now for the delivery of your Cashier Check with this information bellow.
Contact Person... Dr. Philip Mouka
E-mail .......... firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone............ +229 98246485
Registration No... wwdsc/xxx/100
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your Postal address and Direct telephone number to them again to avoid any mistake on the Delivery and Let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember to pay them their Security Keeping fee of $99 USD for their immediate action.You should also Let me know through email as soon as you receive your Cashier
Note; EXPRESS LINK DELIVERY COMPANY do not know the content of the parcel. I registered it as a greeting Cards sending to a friend overseas. They do not know that it contains a Cashier Check of such a huge amount of money, this is to avoid them tempering with the package. Please, do not let them know the contents of the parcel. I am waiting to hear the good news from you.
Pastor Wilfred James