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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Aaron Whittaker" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2010 17:55:05 -0800
Subject: Consignment Status
This is Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. We intercepted your Consignment which was abandoned by Air Cargo/Express freight forwarding company Africa, Europe Asia. On scanning we discovered that the content of the consignment is an undisclosed sum of money rather than Personal effect as declared.
Provide the following information's 1. Your full name, 2. Your address 3. Cell phone number and a copy of your ID for the normalization and release of the consignment box for immediate delivery to your address.
Fax the requirements through this fax numbers 208-460-4111 or via email.
I am waiting for immediate response for the normalization and release of your consignment box to you or the box will be confiscated, marked as unclaimed and taken to maximum security vault in Atlanta.
Yours in service,
Mr. Aaron Whittaker