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:
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 11:46:08 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Hello Good Friend
Hello Good Friend,
How are you doing? Hope fine. I have been waiting to hear from you concerning the collection of your compensation payment of USD$2.5Million via Certified Cheque but I did not hear from you since then and your Cheque is about to expire.
So, I went and deposited the Cheque with the issuing Bank (ECO BANK PLC) to cash the Cheque to avoid it expiring and the Director of Eco Bank Plc cash the Cheque and with his help I deposited the USD$2.5Million in a Consignment Box with SPEED TRUST COURIER SERVICE in Cotonou, Benin-Republic, because I will be traveling to Japan later today for a project that will keep me busy for three months.
So, I want you to contact SPEED TRUST COURIER SERVICE as stated below to know when they will deliver your Consignment to you.
Contact Person:Mr.Don Jackson
E-mail: ( email@example.com )
Contact Phone: +229-9846-7858
You have to reconfirm your information to them to avoid any mistake on the delivery.
(1) YOUR FULL NAMES:
(2) YOUR CURRENT ADDRESS:
(3) YOUR CONTACT PHONE NUMBER:
(4) YOUR COUNTRY:
(5) YOUR PASSPORT OR ID:
Be informed that SPEED TRUST COURIER SERVICE does not know the real content of the Consignment. It was registered with them as an African Beads. So, don't let them know the content to avoid delaying the shipment to you. Let me know via email as soon as you have received your Package.