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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: shalla bruce <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:04:19 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Message From Miss Shalla Bruce,
My Dearest friend,
Greeting to you and How are you today all together with your family Iam Miss Shalla Bruce,the only daughter of my late parents.I need your help to retrived the consignment that my late Father deposited with asecurity company and to transfer the consignment fund my father left for me in the security company before he died.
I want to invest the money in your country and continue my studies.the money is ($9million) I will give you 20% of the Total money for your help. I assure you in the name of the almighty Lord and I will tell youmore about this project Once you get back to me and also send you my pictures I am waiting for your Urgent reply
I will be expecting your reply.
Thanks and God bless you.
Miss Shalla Bruce