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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "email@example.com" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr John Anderson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 May 2010 03:11:36 +0100
Subject: **SPAM** CONTACT SPEED TRUST COMPANY FOR YOUR DELIVERY
Hello, I have paid the delivery fees for your cheque and all the necessary arrengement has made WITH SPEED TRUST COMPANY.and manager of ecobank told me that the cheque will expire before getting to you. so i told him to cash the ($2.5) million and deposited the cash with speed trust company .now contact the speed Trust company with this information below.
DR ANDY LORD
Office Telephone: +229-96701622
Contact them to enable them deliver the consignment box to you immediately. Do contact them and let me know when you have recieve your consignment box, and make sure you send the needed information to enable them deliver your consignment to you immediately.
SPEED TRUST COMPANY LTD.
And be advised to reconfirm your full information to them.
1. YOUR FULL NAME..................................
2. YOUR COUNTRY....................................
3. YOUR HOME DELIVERY ADDRESS......................
4. YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER..............
5. YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE...................
6. YOUR CURRENT CELL PHONE.........................
7. A COPY OF YOUR ID/ PICTURE......................
Do let me know immediately you receive your consignment box that was deposited in (SPEED)trust company. so that we can share the joy togerther.
MR JOHN ANDERSON.