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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "John Leo" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 04:48:58 -0700
Subject: I GAVE THANKS TO GOD FOR MY MOVEMENT.
How are you today? I am writing to inform you that I have Paid the delivering fee for your Check Draft because due to your delay, I went to the bank to confirm if the Check has expired or getting near to expire and Dr.Amez Kento Victor the Director of International Bank told me that before the check will get to your hand that it will expire.
So I told him to cash the $8,000,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid losing this funds. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $8,000,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic, Dr. Amez Kento the Director of International Bank of Cotonou have to package the sum of $8,000,000.00 in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to Register the Consignment with FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY.
Infact I thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes normally.
As for our agreement with the FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY, they promised that your consignment will leave this Country immediately they receive your contact details to enable them meet up with you immediately the Diplomat Agent arrives to your Country.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
Attn: Dr. Musa O. Ibrahim
Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they arrive in your country with your box.
This is what they need from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE OR DRIVER LICENCE.
Please make sure you send this needed info to the Director general of FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY with the address given to you.
Note.The FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER COMPANY don't know the contents of the as i registered it as a box of an Africa clothes. They don't know it contains money. This is to avoid delaying with the box. don't let them know that it is money that is inside the box.
I am waiting for your urgent response.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Secretary John Leo.