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)
- "million united states 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)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: FRANK DIALLO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 09:14:32 -0700
How are you today,i hope you are fine?I am Frank Diallo the son of the late Minister of Tourism in Sierra-Leone,i am 22 years of age and i and my mum are presently living at the refugee camp in Ghana,i am contacting you in respect of my two consignment boxes which is already in your country with the diplomat who is in charge,my foreign beneficiary who was suppose to receive the consignment boxes and invest it for me and my mum was so greedy asking for 75% which we agreed on 25% initially before the boxes left Ghana to my greedy foreign partner country.
I had to put a stop to the delivery of the boxes to him since he want to be greedy,please i and my mum are contacting you to help us receive our consignment boxes as our new foreign partner and help us invest the money, we have mapped out the same 25% for you.
I want to inform you that the diplomat has been there for good five days now waiting to hear from my foreign beneficiary to carry out the delivery to and the content of my two consignment boxes is Money $28,000.000.00 ( Twenty Eight Million United States Dollars ) which is meant to be invested in a profitable business in your country.
I want you to know that the diplomat does not know the true content of the boxes is containing money so please when contacting him for the delivery to you don't tell him about the content.
All you have to do is to contact the diplomat.Please help us by receiving the boxes,for as soon as you receive them i will be coming over to join you,so we can start the investment together and we will start living a new and good life again.
Please get back to me so that i can give you the contact of the diplomat so you can contact him for him to carry out the delivery to you.