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.
- 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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 05:08:24 +0300
>From the desk of the manager,
Global Courier Max Company,
Cotonou Benin Republic.
We want to inform you that your consignment which contains the sum of $3,950,000 usd that was supposed to be delivered to you which did not get to you due to unavailability of providing the certificate guiding the fund in the consignment which has been submitted to the custom officers, and has now been released and now in our custody in Global Courier Max Company here in Benin Republic.
So all you need to do is to resend to our office the below details to enable our dipolomatic agent proceed for delivery immediately to any address of your choice along with all the legal documents guiding the consignment.
1.Your full name
2.Your residential address
3.The address where you want the consignment to be delivered
4.Your telephone number
This is not one of those Nigerian/African scams that all
they are after is to ripe you off your money and at the end you will not
Receive your fund, but note that this is no scam and is directly from the
office of the Manager Global Courier Max Company Cotonou, Benin Republic.
Note that without the above informationâs we will not leave for delivery to your destination and note that if this consignment remains with us and does not leave as soon as possible to your destination, it will be forwarded to the federal government treasury.
And from now on stop any other communication with any office (s) or person (s) to avoid hitch in the delivery of your consignment.
So contact the office in charge through this email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jack Usman