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:
- "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)
- "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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: MARK BELLO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 01:48:11 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE:CONTACT FEDEX ABOUT YOUR PACKAGE WITH DEPOSITE NO :PLCC-101-PL45
I have Paid the 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 $1.5, Millions USD DOLLAR all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $1.5, Millions USD DOLLAR in cash was made with FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY.
This is the information they need to delivery your package to you.ATTN: Edward Lyyn (Director)
EMAIL:email@example.com Contact phone number:+22998582907
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX This is what they need from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME............
3.YOUR HOME ADDRESS..............
4.YOUR CURRENT HOME 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 EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY. Edward Lyyn (Director) with the address given to you.Note. FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY don't know the contents of the Box.i register it as 1 Box Sensitive Photographic Film Material .They don't know it contents money. this is to avoid them delaying with the 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. Mark Bello
I wait to hear from you.