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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "consignment " (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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: Mrsteresa Jav <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 09:30:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Hello my dear friend,
Hello my dear friend,
Of course I know this message will come to you as a surprise, but I want you to consider yourself lucky and see it as favour from Father Almighty to be the chosen one to manage this project with me, which with no doubt be for our mutual benefit as soon as possible. I would like to take this great opportunity to introduce myself properly.
I am Ma Teresa Javuer. from the Philippines, widow of the late former AFP Chief of Staff who died on 29 June 2007, before the present Chief of Staff Gen. Alexander B.Yano of the Philippines. I inherited a total of $18.4 million U.S. dollars from my late husband, the money was concealed in a metal truk box and was deposited with a security and finance company in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivory, that was because I needed a maximum security/safety of my consignment and no body or government organization can trace the where about of the money until I am ready and prepare to claim it. but the security company does not know the actual content of the box, because it was filed under a secret arrangement of family valuables.
My main purpose of sending you this e-mail is because of the way i found you and perhaps trustworthy to give you this priority of shipping the box of money to any address that you think is very secure and save in your country for onward deposit into your account for the purpose of future investment. Your percentage of which we shall chat on soon. As soon as i hear from you, in my next email i will send you my photo, guid lines and also the Authorization document to contact the company which is the deposit document that was issued from the company on the very day the box was deposited with a secret code for safety. I give thanks immensely for your
co-operation as I look forward to hear from you soon.
get back to me on this email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best,
Mrs Teresa Javuer.