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.
- 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- of the treasury c.b.n email:email@example.com mobile phone: 234-705-853-4705 my dear: i am dr. jackson jafah foreign (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Jackson Jafah" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:43:16 +0900
Subject: GET BACK TO ME IS VERY URGENT!!
OFFICE OF THE TREASURY C.B.N
MOBILE PHONE: 234-705-853-4705
I am Dr. Jackson jafah Foreign payment adviser to the president Federal Republic of Nigeria Sequel to the secretive arrangement in regards of the shipment of your contract sum, I wish to inform you that all necessary modalities have been automatically concluded and have left Nigeria to London via your Country today by Express Cargo Flight.
Note carefully the content of the crate is "MONEY" but I did not disclose it to the Courier Services as Money, rather Informed them that the crate contain Vital "DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS" belonging to my client (that is you). Furthermore, the weight of the consignment is 220kg but Imanage to pay 120kg, which cost US$75,600.00. On no account should you disclose the content of the crate with the Diplomatic Courier Services for fear of betrayal.
So do not allow them to know that the content is money. In the meantime, contact the Diplomatic Courier Services on Tel: 44-77-4335252 or email email@example.com to know the actual situation with the consignment and also give them your address where the consignment will be delivered and then get back to me as soon as possible so that I can give you the shipment document.
Meanwhile, I will be coming over to your country immediately the consignment arrives in your Country for my 30% share. Congrats and remain blessed.
Dr. Jackson Jafah.