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:
- "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 us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "simone" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 06:59:09 -0800
Subject: From : Wife of Ivory Coast President (Urgent Response Needed)
I am Mrs. Simone Gbagbo, Wife of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, because of
the political pressure and crisis my husband is currently facing from the US
government and the United Nations in this Country now as result of the November
2010 Presidential Election here in Ivory Coast.
I decided to honestly confide in you to seek your co-operation to receive the lump sum
of $13million US Dollars as a consignment through diplomatic means via a security depository company which has being packaged in a consignment as a personal effect to be shipped to you for safe keeping pending my arrival as soon as you consent to this opportunity.
I am contacting you now based on confidence and trust I have for you to assist me
On this ample opportunity and I wait your sincere and genuine considerations to this proposal to enable me give you further information and the arrangement in place.
Note: Kindly keep this transaction as top confidential until it is successfully
concluded as I wait your urgent response as regards to this message.
(Mrs. Simone Gbagbo)