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:
- "huge amount of money" (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 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Robert S. Mueller, III" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 11:21:59 -0400
Subject: Re: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Anti-Terrorist and Monetary Crimes Division
FBI Headquarters in Washington , D.C.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
J. Edgar Hoover Building
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington , D.C. 20535-0001
We, office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hereby write to inform you that we caught a diplomatic lady called Mrs. Vernon Wallace at ( John F Kennedy International Airport ) here in New York with consignment box filed with united state dollars.
Meanwhile, base on our interview to the diplomat she said that the consignment box belongs to you, that she was sent to deliver the consignment box to your doorstep not knowing that the content of the box is money. The diplomat also said that her first transit in the state was at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport Ohio.
Now, the diplomat is under detention in our office(FBI) security, and we cannot release her until we carry out our proper investigation on how this huge amount of money managed to be yours before we will release her with the box. So, in this regards you are to reassure and prove to us that the money you are about to receive is legal by sending us the Award Ownership Certificate showing that the money is not illegal.
Note, that the Award Ownership Certificate must to be secured from the office of the senate president in Nigeria, because that is the only office that will issue you the original Award Ownership Certificate of this funds since it has been confirmed that the fund was originated from Nigeria.
You are advised to forward immediately the Award Ownership Certificate if you have it with you, but if you did not have it we will urge you to contact our representative in Nigeria bellow this message to help you secure the Award Ownership Certificate if at all you did not have it.
Name: Dr. Ernest Ebi
Furthermore, we are giving you only but 3 working business days to forward the requested Award Ownership Certificate.
Please note that we shall get back to you after the 3 working business days, that if you didnt come up with the certificate we shall confiscate the funds into World Bank account then charge you for money laundry, but if you forward the Award Ownership Certificate then we will release diplomat with your consignment box also gives you every back up on the money.
You know we have issue of terrorist attacks, so do not waste time, clear your file by providing these certificate and get in touch with us to resolve this case as soon as possible.
Thanks for your understanding, co-operation and continued patronage.
Robert S. Mueller, III