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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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. )
- "email@example.com" (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: "MR.GOODLUCK NDU" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 11:04:55 -0700
Subject: RE:WE GOT THE INFORMATION THIS MORNING FROM PAYMENT SECRETARY
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU,IF YOU KEEP ON DELAYING REGARDING YOUR PAYMENT,YOU ARE DOING IT FOR YOUR OWN RISK.THE DHL DIPLOMATIC AGENT CONVEYING 45.02KG TRUNK BOX VALUED YOUR $1.2MILLION WAS CURRENTLY STRANDED IN YOUR CITY FOR PAST 2DAYS.
WE GOT THE INFORMATION THIS MORNING FROM PAYMENT SECRETARY AND NOTE THIS,THE DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR.PARKER CONVEYING THE CONSIGNMENT TO YOU DOES NOT KNOW THAT THERE IS CASH $1.2MILLION DOLLARS IN SIDE THE TRUNK BOX.DON'T ALLOW HIM TO RETURN THE BOX BACK TO THE OFFICE.THE PROBLEM WE ARE HAVING TO TRANSFER THE TOTAL AMOUNT TO YOU,SOME OF THE BOARD OFFICIALS ARE PLANING TO DIVERT YOUR PAYMENT THAT THE REASON THE CONSIGNMENT WAS SHIPED IMMEDIATELY TO YOU THROUGH DIPLOMATIC MEANS.
KINDLY CONTACT HIM AS SOON AS YOU RECEIVE THIS MASSAGE AND GIVE HIM THE DIRECTION TO YOUR HOME.HE IS WAITING FOR YOUR DIRECTION RIGHT NOW.CONTACT ONLY(MR.DONALD PARKER DHL
DIPLOMATIC AGENT) EMAIL(firstname.lastname@example.org) SEND BELOW INFORMATION TO HIM.
Your Full Name----
Your full Address------
Your nearest airport---
Private Phone Number---
Include the consignment Registeration Number when contacting him(dhl/uncc74)
NOTE THIS AGAIN,THEY CARRY OUT THE DELIVERY AS NATIVE CLOTHS SO DON'T ALLOW THE AGENT TO OPEN OR DELAYING THE TRUNK BOX TO AVOID THEM NOT TO RUN AWAY WITH YOUR PAYMENT.PLEASE AS SOON AS THEY COMPLETE THE DELIVERY WITH YOU,CONFIRM TO SECRETARY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PAYMENT TO ENSURE HE SIGN FOR YOUR PAYMENT.
THE KEY OF SAID CONSIGNMENT STILL IN SECRETARY OFFICE BUT YOU CAN EASILY BRAKE THE CONSIGNMENT.IF YOU NEED THE KEY,KINDLY CONTACT SECRETARY SO THAT HE WILL MAIL THE KEY TO YOU THROUGH ANOTHER COURIER COMPANY BECAUSE WE WAS ADVISED NOT MAIL THE KEY WITH THE SAME DHL COMPANY FOR SOME REASONS.