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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
- 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.
- +22545491697 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Michael Owen" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:39:52 +0100
Subject: YOUR PACKAGE IS RIGHT NOW IN USA
VERSUS BANK CI
Immeuble CRRAE-UMOA - Boulevard Botreau Roussel,
Derri?re la BCEAO, Face ? la Rue des Banques
Abidjan - Plateau R?publique de C?te d'Ivoire
01 BP 1874 Abidjan 01, C?te d'Ivoire
Contact Person: Dr Mr Michael Owen (Director)
Phone: +225 45491697
ATTENTION:CATEGORY A BENEFICIARY.
Hello how are you doing today. I wanted you to know that the funds was
released from West -Africa and now in ATLANTA Georgia. It was carried by our diplomat
Don Richard And the funds is now in ATLANTA Georgia in USA at the present time.
The funds are now lying with the diplomat who brought the funds from
west africa to USA, The diplomat doesn't know the content of what is in
the consignment he brought to USA. On the documents that were given out
to him he was told the consignment contains industrial items and
documents. So please do not let him know the content of the consigment.
Till its delivered to you and opened by you. You will be given the
passcode to open the consignment box as soon as we comfirm its had been
delivered and signed by you.
When contacting him don't let him know that the consignment contains Money, which he had brought to USA.
You will be contacting the diplomat for the delivery of the consignment
to you. Below its his contact information's. You give him a call and let
him know your location so that the consignment can be delivered to you.
You also send to him your contact phone number and address with the
Name: Don Richard
When contact him you send him your address and phone number and make
sure You give him a call. Its important you give him a call. If you have
any Question you can only reach me on +225 45491697
Dr Mr Michael Owen (Director