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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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: "Mr.Walla Kadanga" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 21:13:33 +0100
Subject: CONATACT FEDEX EXPRESS COURIER SERVICE FOR DELIVEYING OF YOUR ATM CARD
My Dear Good Friend,
Iam diplomat Clark Morgan i wish to inform you that am the diplomatic agent conveying the consignment box valued the sum of $2.5 Million United States Dollars misplaced your address and currently stranded here at your International Airport . We required you to reconfirm the following information below so that i can deliver your consignment box to you today and come back.
Direct Phone No:
Youre ID No British Passport No.
My contact information:
Name Clark Morgan
E-mail: ( email@example.com )
am waiting to hear from you today with the information at the Airport NB: The Air-Port Authority does not know that the content of the consignment box is $2.5 Millions United States Dollars and on no circumstances should you let them know the content. The consignment was moved from here as Bank Documents, so never allow him to open the box,If you have any questions or query do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
This e-mail message is confidential and for use of the intended recipient(s) only... Unauthorized use or treatment of all or part of this message is strictly prohibited. Unintended recipients: please notify the sender and delete the original message, any attachments and any copies from your computer and back-up system immediately.
Diplomant waiting to here from you as matter of urgent.