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)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +2348050581827 (Nigeria, prepaid mobile phone)
- 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:
From: "Dr. Justice Hughes" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 06:17:01 -0600
Subject: Your Shipment Is Ready For Collection !!!
>From The Desk Of
Dr. Justice Hughes
National Security warehouse of Nigeria.
This is to inform you that arrangements have been concluded as regards to the shipment of your consignment of funds to your country. I choose to conclude it and make sure it is off already before contacting you.
I found out that this consignment has been lying here because of non-payment of shipment fees. This is why I decided to use my connections as the Shipment officer in charge of the National Security warehouse. (This is where all the abandoned consignments and Master Cards in Nigeria are kept at the orders of the Government of Nigeria).
The consignment has left Lagos Nigeria yesterday night en-route country via Spain/ USA. It is a metal box, silver in color with a weight of about 150kg, the box is declare as containing diplomatic /inheritance documents only. Call me immediately so that I can
give you the name, phone and fax numbers of the company that is in charge in USA so that you confirm when the consignment will arrive.
I choose to do this for you because you may have paid a lot of money before abandoning this consignment and I believe you will compensate me well when you receive the consignment.
You can track it with this WBSITE: (www.iship.com)
TRACKING NUMBER (EC932373096US)
Note: I know the content of the Box because I could see the amount you are being owned by Central Bank of Nigeria. This is why I decided to get involved. You must also know that this arrangement do not concern all the people you were dealing with in Nigeria before today as this consignment/Payment has been surrendered to the Government. Hence my involvement.
Waiting for your call
Dr. Justice Hughes
National Security warehouse of Nigeria
Call Me, Mobile:+234-80-50581827