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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Edward Maxwell <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:40:07 +0100
Subject: ACCEPT IN GOOD FAITH
How are you today,i hope you are fine?I am Edward Maxwell the son
of the late Minister of Tourism in Liberia,i am 19 years of age and i
am presently 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,my foreign beneficiary who was suppose to receive
the consignment boxes and invest it for me was so greedy asking for
75% which we agreed on 25% before the boxes left Ghana for your country.
I had to put a stop to the delivery of the boxes to him,please i am
contacting you to help me receive my consignment boxes because i have
mapped out 35% 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
$25,000.000.00 ( Twenty Five 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.
I want you to know also that i have paid for the delivery charges
which is $8500 ( Eight Thousand Five Hundred United State Dollars )
all you have to do is contact the diplomat.Please help me 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 i will start
living a 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 and please remember to send me your house address and phone number .
Edward Maxwell .