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)
- "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: "PROF.HOLYMANN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 2 Dec 2011 19:38:20 -0400
Subject: ATTN:Beneficiary,-US$12 MILLION DOLLARS
ATTN:Beneficiary-US$12 MILLION DOLLARS
I am sorry for using this means to officially notify you of funds, valuable packages and baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy. A benefactor whose identity can not be disclosed because of the NonCircumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement that was signed with the said benefactor when the funds were being deposited, made you the beneficiary of a package containing some amount of money. The Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement signed with the benefactor mandates us to fully divulge and disclose the benefactor's identity 18 months after you,the beneficiary,has received the funds. The funds totals (12 Million, United States Dollars) and we confirm that these funds are fully free of any liens,or encumbrances and are clean, clear and non-criminal origin and are available in the form of CASH.You are here
by advised to reconfirm your Full Contact Information for verification with information contained in our database in
the format stated below.
After verifying the details with the information we have in our database,you will be contacted to personally claim
the funds in the Finance and Security Firm where its being kept with the Consignment Deposit information
(CDI317) that will empower you to do so. This Consignment Deposit Information (CDI317) is what is
needed to claim the funds and will only be sent to you after all your information has been verified and confirmed
to be true.The information should therefore be send in the manner stated below so as to ensure that no mistake is made.
1. Your Full Name:........
2. Your Complete Home/Office Address......
3. Date of Birth (Day/Month/Year/Age......
4. Your Occupations and Position /Sex.......
5. Direct Mobile/Fax Number:.....
6. Your International Passport or Driving License or National ID. Complete the above and send back to me as soon as possible.Congratulations in advance. PLEASE REPLY TO THIS EMAIL:(email@example.com)