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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "TONY" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 2 May 2010 18:17:16 +0100
Subject: please try & reach me
My name is Mark Tony, I am a citizen of Sweden and the Executive Director of Trident Corporation, a multi-national oil corporation operating from London-England, UK. I
am seeking your assistance to retreive the sum of fifteen Million Dollars consisting of two consignment boxes.
This money was acquired from the company and it was accompanied by a diplomat to the present desination, my reason for this is because I have been cheated out of my
entitlements by the company for too long simply because I am not a British. The contact details of the diplomat will be given to you if you indicate your
interest to help me.
Each of the boxes contains $7.5M and for your help I am ready to release 30% to you, for security reasons the consignment was registered to be CONFIDENTIAL
DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS and I can explain why it was declared so. Bear in mind that the diplomat is not aware of the content of the consignment, it has been there for
the past 1 month as I'm looking for a reliable partner.
I will be leaving the country immediately the consignment is delivered to you for my private investment and I have vowed never to step back into London,
England. Please, I need your urgent response before my plans to leave the company is discovered. Right now the safest form of correspondence is through my own e-mail address,
please in the interest of confidentiality only reply through my direct email
your full names
direct tel/fax numbers
Reply along with your personal telephone and fax number where I can reach you. Please if you are not willing and interested in helping me kindly delete this
email from your computer and pretend you never got it.