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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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. )
- "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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Christiane Alwin" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:58:26 +0100
Subject: Re: Good News..
This is Mrs. Christiane Alwin a German citizen, how are you and your family? You may not
Know me again, but I contacted you previously concerning transferring ($10million Dollars )
Into your account, You agreed to help me but later opted out because you said you will not
Continue again, I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the money to someone
Else who was capable of assisting me.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the
Transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude I have bought some gifts which
Include 10, Gold jewelries, Clothes, 10, iPads and 10, laptops for you, and more house use.
Please contact courier company that will convey it to you, Inside the laptops, you will see
$25,000 each (10 laptops) making it 250 Thousand Dollars. I hid them inside the laptops so
that Nobody will, not even the courier company.
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 Agent: Home Delivery
Thank you very much for your zeal to assist then. Let friendly love continue! Im 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 doesnt know anything about the hiding money in the
laptops, dont ever disclose it to them..
Mrs. Christiane Alwin,