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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Edger Hoover <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:42:13 -0800 (PST)
From the Desk of Edger Hoover
Ministry of Finance
630066 Hatton Garden ,
London ECIN 8LE.
Mobile : +44 792 4556 244
My name is Edger Hoover; I work with the Ministry of Finance, and I have seen that several times people tried to divert your funds into their own personal account I mean those you call your partners. Now I write to you in respect of the amount which I have been able to send to you through the Federal Government Diplomat who has arrived in Africa, now I want you to know that the diplomat would deliver the funds which I have package as a diplomatic compensation to you and the amount in the consignment is $6,000.000.00 (Six Million Dollars Only).
To this end, I did not disclose the content to the diplomat that the box contain money but I told him that it is your compensation from the Government House and from our affiliate in United State, I want you to know that this funds would help your financial status as I have seen in record in London and in United State that you have spent a lot trying to receive this funds. I am not demanding so much from you but Just 40% of the funds.
I want you to get back to me so that I can give you the contact information of the diplomat who has arrived Africa for the past two days and have been waiting to get your information so that he can proceed with the delivery to your doorstep.
Mr. Edger Hoover