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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Desmond" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 08:47:40 +0100
Subject: Greetings to you and your family
My Greetings to you and your family,My name is Desmond Eyadema, am the son of the late president of Togo,a country in West Africa.Presently i and my mother are living in Ghana for reasons best known to us.I write you this email in respect of my consignment box in ACCRA GHANA, which I and my mother want you to assist us,by standing as our trustee ,to help us receive this consignment on our behalf.
The box (Consignment ) contains $38.5 Million U.S.Dollars, that was deposited by my late father under Ghana High Commission for I and my mother,Mr. Johnson Ascot who was suppose to receive this consignment in ACCRA GHANA, began to demand for 50% which I and my mother did not agree on for any reason,that was why we have to stop the delivery to him, and search for another Beneficiary who can help us on this.
I will give you 30% from the total fund involve for your assistance,because that was the former agreement we have with our former beneficiary Mr. Johnson Ascot before he later changed is mind due to his greed.If you are willing to help us, kindly reply us so with your names and phone numbers,so that we can proceed immediately because of the time limits.Thanks..