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:
- "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 free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Maria Moore" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:14:48 -0800
Subject: Good News from Maria...
I'm Mrs Maria Moore a German citizen though you don't know me. My
colleague sometime in the past solicited for your partnership in a
transaction in regard to getting some funds transferred to your
account but you opted out due to reasons best known to you, which left
the transaction pending then.
Well he later solicited for my partnership and support on the same
transaction, though he informed me about your effort to assist him. We
therefore agreed to compensate you after a successful transfer.
I am very happy to inform you about our success in getting the funds
transferred under my co-operation. We left London, UK for Paris,
France to have our fun and Share the Joy of the successful
transaction. hehehehe don't you ever think that we forgot you, no we
didn't forget your past efforts and zeal to assist at that time.
Personally I love being transparent.
Anyway as agreed to compensate you to show our gratitude, we bought
some gifts which include Gold Jewelries, iPads and Laptops for you. We
tried to call you on the phone but to no avail. We are flying to China
tomorrow for investments and will barely have access to email. Due to
time constraints we had no other option than to leave the items with
Excel Global Courier Service Company to convey the items to you
pending your address reconfirmation.
Inside the laptops bags, you will see $20,000 each (that's 9 laptops)
making it $180,000 USD. I hid them inside the laptops bags so that
nobody will see it. Instruction has been given the Excel Global
Courier Service to deliver the items to you as soon as you reconfirm
your receiving details to them. I will be very busy with travel
arrangement, flying to China like i told you so i will barely have
access to mail. Hence I thought it wise to furnish you
with Excel Global Courier Service contact details at once so as to
enable you contact them when you are able to read this mail.
Your expected to reconfirm your house address such as
A) Your Full Name................
B) Your Full Name....................
C) Your Full Cell Phone.................
D) Your Copy of Id Card
Below are their contact details.... now E-mail them immediately and ask
about item code: "9864543/pending/delivery" by me.
Company Name: Excel Global Courier Service
Contact Person: ELIZABETH HAMMERS
Thank you very much for your zeal to assist then. Let friendly love
continue! I???m off....Take care and God bless. so feel free to get in
touch with them. Pls pray for our safe trip. Please note that the
courier company don???t know anything about the hiding money in the
laptops, don???t ever disclose it to them.
Mrs Maria Moore