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:
- "you are required to pay " (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. )
- "courier service" (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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: info office <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2021 07:00:37 +0100
Subject: DHL Courier Service DEPARTMENT
DHL Courier Service DEPARTMENT
Address: 931 W. Main St City and Zip Code: Bridgeport, WV 39331
Phone number(+17175671895) WHATSAPP NUMBER(+12313836975)
This is to officially inform you that an ATM CARD worth Six Million
Three Hundred United States Dollars ($6.3MILLION USD) has been
accredited in your favor.
I have made the necessary findings from our courier companies here for
the dispatch of your ATM CARD with above information you forwarded to
me, but we courier service requested that the ATM CARD must be
registered in our office before they dispatched it to avoid any
Meanwhile here is the cost of sending and registration of your ATM
CARD through Express Courier Services and that is the cost you
$150.00usd, from here to your country, You are required to pay the
necessary courier charges to enable us to send your ATM CARD immediately
to your home address.
kindly reconfirm your address to avoid any wrong delivery.
Method you will use to send the $150.00usd
any-kind of gift card.
Thanks and God bless you.
Director, DHL Courier Service
931 W. Main St City
and Zip Code: Bridgeport, WV 39331