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:
- "dear friend" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alstar Wason" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 13:04:52 -0700
Subject: REV: PETER ADAMS WILL DELIVERY YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX!!
Hello My Dear Friend,
Good day,How are you today? I am writing to inform you that I have Paid the fee for your Check Draft. And I went to the bank to confirm if the Check has expired or getting near to expire and Dr.David Patrick the Director of International Bank told me that before the check will get to your hand that it will expire. So I told him to cash the (USD$1,5M.) UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid losing this funds.However,all the necessary arrangement of delivering the (USD$1,5MUNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic by Dr.David Patrick the Director of International Bank COMPANY of Cotonou have to package the sum of (USD$1,500.000.) in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to Register the Consignment with FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY.
In fact I thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes normally As for our agreement with the FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY, they promised that your consignment will leave this Country on Friday this week,But the Director of the FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY said that they need your contacts information's to enable them meet up with you immediately the Diplomat Agent arrives to your Country.Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
MY DEAR GOOD FRIEND, PLEASE TRY TO KEEP THE SECRET OF THE REAL CONTENT OF THE CONSIGNMENT BOX BECAUSE IT IS VERY NECESSARY TO AVID ANY DELAY FROM THE FEDEX COMPANY.
ATTN:REV PETER ADAMS
TEl:+229 98 18 55 02
( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they arrive in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE OR DRIVER LICENSE.
Please make sure you send this needed information's to the Director general of FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY REV PETER ADAMS with the address given to you.Note.The FEDEX EXPRESS COMPANY did not know the contents of the Box.because I registered it as Family Valuable Belongs and they don't know it contents money to avoid them delaying with the Box.Please don't let them know the Box contents money.
I am waiting for your urgent response As you make contact with them,
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr. Alstar Wason.