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:
- "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. )
- "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 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 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.
- 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: "Hon. John Douglas" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 10:23:15 +0100
Subject: ATTN: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION!
ATTN: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION!
This is to bring to your notice that, I have paid the courier charges
and the delivery of your ATM CARD.I paid it because the ATM CARD worth
USD 2.7M (Two Million seven hundred thousand Dollars) has less than
Four weeks and four days to expire and when it expires the money will
go into Government reserve. With that I decided to help you pay the
money so that the ATM CARD will not expire,because I know when you get
your ATM CARD definitely you must
Now your ATM CARD has been deposited with DHL Courier Company for
delivery so I want you to contact DHL Courier Company with your Full
Contact information so that they can deliver your ATM CARD to your
designated address without any delay.
Your Full Name:.........
Like I stated earlier, the delivery charges have been paid but I did
not pay their official keeping fees since they refused. Reasons for
their refusal are because they do not know when you are going to
contact them. They told me that their keeping fee is 25Dollars per day and I
deposited it Yesterday 14/04/2023.Below is their Contact Information,
Contact Person: Mr.Anthony Kenneth
DHL Delivery Service
Try to contact them as soon as possible to avoid mistake on the
delivery.I gave them your delivering address but you have to reconfirm
it to them again to avoid any mistake in the delivery including with
your ID or Picture.Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive the
package USD2.7 MILLION Dollars.Ask Mr.Anthony Kenneth DHL Courier Company
Director How you can Send to them their Official Security Keeping Fees
Witch Is Only USD25 which is per day.
Contact Today to avoid increase of their keeping fees and let me know
once you receive your ATM CARD.
From Hon. John Douglas the General
Payment Contractor of Federal
Government Of Benin