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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the 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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (Hotmail, France; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Don Williams" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: : ;
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 2010 12:18:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: CONTACT FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY FOR YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX
Hello Dear Friend,
I have Paid the registrations fee for your Cheque Draft.but the manager of Eko Bank Benin told me that before the check will get to you that it will expire. So i told him to cash $1.5millions united state dollars all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $1.5millions united state dollars in cash was made with FEDEX COURIER COMPANY.
This is the information they need to deliver your consignment box to you.
Contact ATTN: DR EDWARD LYNN (Director)
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS : ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Contact telephone number +229-989-126-35
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your consignment box .This is what they need from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME............
3.YOUR HOME ADDRESS..............
4.YOUR CURRENT HOME AND CELL TELEPHONE NUMBER.........
5.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE..........
6.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE............
Please make sure you send this needed infomation to the Director FEDEX COURIER COMPANY. DR EDWARD LYNN (Director) with the E-mail address given to you. Note. FEDEX DELIVERY COURIER COMPANY don't know the contents of the consignment box .i register it as 1 Box Sensitive Photographic Film Material .
They don't know that that the contents was money.this is to avoid them delaying with the consignment box.
the Deposit details:
Deposit Number: PLCC-101-PL45
Sort/ Clearance Code: PLC/101-45/P50
Deposit Certificate N0.: 405576
Consignment Description: 1 Box Sensitive Photographic Film Material
Depositor: Mr. Don williams,
You can also call the director fedex courier company with this line tel+229-989-126-35 Waiting for your urgent response
Mr. Don williams.
+2348 1373 05981