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. Paul Ling" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2011 12:55:55 +0200
Subject: YOUR DELIVERY SCHEDULE
I am (Special Agent) Paul Ling, From The Heathrow International Airport Security Service London, England and I hereby wish to inform you that we have recovered your inheritance payment/consignment (box) from the criminals who were trying to redirect it's delivery to another address totally different from yours. Are you aware of this move?
Because the consignment (box) was retrieved from these criminals during our last routine inspection suspected to be banking instruments worth millions of United States dollar notes in cash as indicated on the consignment
papers. Reply immediately if you authorized the delivery change, and then re-confirm your full name, contact address, telephone/cell & fax for proper verifications.
Waiting your urgent response.
Mr. Paul Ling
(London Heathrow Airport Security Service)