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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. rose dampsey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2011 10:42:36 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Attn, Please your funds $4.500,000. US Dollars from the United Nations.
Happy New Year
I am Mrs. Rose Dampsey "CEO" World Courier Company Ltd (WCC) UK England. This is an official notification of a consignment Marked "Personal Effects" deposited with us on the 1st January, 2011 by a United Nations licensed diplomat Hon.James Brown from Cotonou Republique Du Benin attached to Apex Security Service ltd. It content was said to have your fund valued at Four Millions Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars "$4.5M US Dollars" Since then, we have been waiting for you to contact us for the delivery.
We arranged for the safekeeping of special and valuable packages and baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy. Please email or fax us the following information below to enable us make the necessary delivery schedule of your consignment to your doorstep.
Proof of Identification: Your Complete name_________________Passport or driver's License__________________ Your Complete Address (Physical Address with Zip Code): _________________ Nearest Airport ______________ Direct Telephone/ Fax Number ______________________ E-mail Address: ____________________
complete the above and send back to us as soon as possible for a possible delivery timetable.
Mrs. Rose Dampsey
World Courier Company Ltd (WCC).
Official ID. email@example.com
Customer care. firstname.lastname@example.org
Attn, Please your funds $4.500,000. US Dollars from the United Nations.