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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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. Daniel George" <WWW.YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.@aurora.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Dr. Daniel George" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 22:46:49 +0900 (JST)
Subject: UNITED PARCEL SERVICE.
UPS BENIN (UNITED PARCEL SERVICE)
3, Rue du Gouverneur Fourn
01 BP 485
Cotonou - BÃ©nin
Tel/Fax : +22996022836
Dear Esteemed Customer,
Welcome to UPS Courier Service, your ATM Visa Card has been in our custody since 3rd July, 2018. This Parcel came from UBA Bank International, they brought the ATM with your full name and address.
I want you to re-confirm your information to avoid wrong delivery.
1. Your full name:________________
2. Telephone number:____________
3. Home address:_____________
The man that brought this "Parcel" told me that you will contact us, but since then we did not receive any email/calls from you.
Dr. Daniel George.
UPS Courier Express Manager, Cotonou-BÃ©nin.
Tel/Fax : +22996022836