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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Yahoo, Australia; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jimo Koramo" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 2009 10:50:26 -0700
Subject: From the Desk of Dr Roland Brooks
>From the Desk of Dr Roland Brooks
Chairman Presidential Taskforce on Airport De congestion Committee,
Heathrow International Airport London,
My name is Dr Roland Brooks, am a foreign worker here in London, United Kingdom. I want to seek your assistant for an urgent business transaction, Subsequent to a bipartite meeting held on the 11th of May 2009 at the presidential villa it was unanimously agreed that a committee be put in place to ensure the release of all abandoned and unclaimed consignments boxes at the heathrow International Airport Warehouse. This is as a result of several petition from individual, co-operate bodies and the international community on the failure to receive their various goods from the Airport warehouse, From my record there is 1 Metallic Trunk Box tagged (Bent Reed), This consignment was scanned and content was $10.5 Million ( Ten Million, Five Hundred thousand United State Dollar).
The beneficiary of this consignment was abandoned by diplomatic officers who could not make the Delivery. I hereby want to seek your consent to present you as the beneficiary of this consignment so that it can be delivered to you as the beneficiary next of kin. I will hereby offer you 40% for your kind assistance while I take 50% and 10% will be set aside for any expenses incurs by both parties during the execution of this transaction.
I am prepare to arrange for a DIPLOMATIC LIFTING COMPANY to deliver this consignment to you at your doorstep there in your country. If you are interested, kindly forward to me as below address: firstname.lastname@example.org Name: Country: Telephone number: Occupation: Residential or Delivery address.
I will be waiting for your urgent response.
Dr Roland Brooks