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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "ALHAJI SULEIMAN MAITAMA JIMETA" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 01:19:58 -1200
Subject: COURIER" COURIER"
FROM : ALHAJI SULEIMAN MAITAMA JIMETA.
CHAIRMAN,NIGERIAN OIL RESERVE TRUST ACCOUNT HANDLERS,OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,FRN.
CONFIDENTIAL TEL: 234-80-66124372 (24HOURS)
I write to inform you that i have tried to get in touch with you over the telephone without any luck of speaking with you, and i decided to send you this email for your perusals.I know you must be suprise at this development, but i choose to tell you the truth because of my sincere wish to every man , as i would expect to be treated. After a thorough investigation on your contract payment file by the Presidency,Federal Republic Of Nigeria, I discovered that it would take a long process for your contract funds to be released to you through Telegraphic Transfer Or Certified International Bank Draft due to some irregularities detected on your file. Also be aware that during our investigations,we found out that you have spent so much money in trying to realize your contract payment with the Federal Republic Of Nigeria,which did not even reflect in your file.
Based on this, i made a 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 to be left Nigeria to London via your Country by Express Cargo Flight.
Note carefully that the content of the crate is MONEY but it was not disclosed to the Courier Services as Money, rather I informed them that the crate contain vital DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS belonging to my client (thats you).
Furthermore, the weight of the consignment is 220kg. 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 Standard Security & Diplomatic Courier Services on Tel: 234-80-55137532, Email: ( email@example.com ) Attn: PAUL OBOWU urgently 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 10% share.
Congrats and remain blessed.
ALHAJI SULEIMAN MAITAMA JIMETA.