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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "priston" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2010 17:40:13 -1200
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
I am the new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and Head of Operations of Overseas Credit Commission London, UK. Sometime ago, in our organization your overdue consignment fund was brought to our office for final delivery clearance.
However, upon my arrival to this office, I found your consignment clearance file lying fallow on my desk without any attention.
On a thorough scrutiny I discovered that your consignment have been abandoned by your delivery agent. Meanwhile, I have made several attempts to contact your delivery agent but to no avail.
To my greatest surprise, during my recent routine checking, I personally discovered that your consignment content declaration documents stated that your consignment contains personal effects meanwhile, it contains United States dollar bills worth over US$ 10.5 Million dollars, which made it impossible for the consignment to be delivered to you earlier before now.
Based on this personal discovery, I am contacting you now to let you know that with my position and power in this office, I can assist you to legally clear your consignment fund, but you must agree with the following conditions:You must not disclose to any member of my organization whatever assistance that I am going to render to you in respect of clearing this consignment fund in to your custody.
You will provide me with an authenticated promissory note, other wise known as partnership agreement, that upon the safe arrival of the consignment fund toyour custody, that you give me 30% of the total fund contained in the consignment.
You must give adequate attention to this matter until we successfullyandlegally clear the consignment fund into your custody.
Upon your acceptance with my above conditions, I will furnish you with further details of what should be done to legally get the consignment fund cleared and delivered to you as the rightful owner of the consignment.
Meanwhile, if you know that you would be able to keep the secret of my assistance to you in this regards, please do not border to reply.
Hence the consignment fund would be recovered into our organization treasury account as unclaimed consignment fund.
Be informed that the consignment contain sum of $10.5 million dollars in the luggage.
Let me inform you before hand that it will cost money to execute transaction of this magnitude, whatever it will cost to execute this project shall rest on both parties resources.
Meanwhile, I will take care of the cost of shipment and delivery charges of $5,500 usd consignment/funds to your country .
But if you can assure me of your competency to keep this secret, I would like to hear from you soon as possible so that I can email you further details and guidelines.
I am looking forward to your earliest response.
Have a Great Day
Head of Operations