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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Divine Mary <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 04:52:33 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
This is Miss. Divine Mary i registered your Inheritance Claim`s ATM
CARD of (GBPÂ£19.950,000.00) with UPS Express with registration code of
(1933173) please Contact with your delivery information: UPS OFFICE:
Address: UPS House, Forest Rd, Feltham TW13 7DY, United Kingdom
Name: Mr. Mark Vale
WhatsApp/SMS +44 7868 820299
She have paid for the Insurance & Delivery fee. The only fee you have
to pay is Security keeping fee only. Please indicate the registration
Number of (1933173)and you have to pay Security keep fee only. so
Contact the UPS office below email and ask them how much is the
Security keeping fee to pay. VAT Number: GB 222421710.
Miss. Divine Mary