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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "DEBORAH ZOUMANA" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 23:36:07 -0000
Subject: RE: I WAIT FOR YOUR URGENT REPLY.......
I am introducing my self as Miss. DEBORAH ZOUMANA, the only Daughter of late Mr. and Mrs HERVE ZOUMANA,I wish to request for your assistance in a financial Transaction. And I wish to invest in Manufacturing and real estate management in your country.
I have Six million Five hundred thousand united states dollars.USD to invest in your country, and I will require your assistance in helping me stand as my foreign guardian to claim this (Consignment) money out from security company to your country,
The consignment was deposited in Africa and was letter lifted to Europe where the consignment is now under the care of the security company diplomat in Europe. I will be gladly to give you 25% out of the total sum for your honest assistance. Please it's very important you contact me immediately on my private e-mail For further explanation on the whole entire work plan contact me on my private email ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Awaiting your immediate response