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:
- 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)
- 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "David" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2013 20:53:56 +0100
Subject: RE: Alluvial Gold Dust/Bar
We are engaged in mechanized mining of gold and precious minerals in
the West Africa Sub-Region. In view of your correspondence of
interest, this is our Full Corporate Offer (F.C.O) for your perusal
and subsequent action.
1. Product : Alluvial Gold Dust/Bar
2. Quality: 23+carats
3. Purity : 92% to 94%
4. Quantity: 50kg to 250kg
5. Origin: West Africa/Ghana
6. Price: US 38,000 per kilo
7. The goods would be delivered to buyer's destination.
8. Buyer will have to come to (Ghana) but in the situaition where by
buyer cannot come to Ghana we can make an alternative arrangement to
send the Gold via London to buyers destination for verification and
testing of the gold. When buyer/mandate is satisfied with the
inspection of the gold and sample of the product taken for the assay
analysis the sellers mandate and the buyer will then convey the
consignment to the buyer's refinery to be refined. After Final Assay
at buyer's destination the buyer will then wire the full amount into
sellers account or supply machinery.
9. The buyer will have to be responsible for the expense cost for
the transport of GOLD from London to its country after being satisfied
with assay made in London.
10. Upon acceptance of these conditions our Lawyers will send to the
buyer/buyers a Contractual Agreement binding both parties "seller and
buyer/mandate" together to honour and respect the seal and legal
documents as signed by the Lawyers. Any parties who the breach or are
in default of the said contract will then be held fully accountable
for the cost incurred.
Upon receiving this FCO a reply is needed as soon as possible as
acknowledgement of the FCO.Email: email@example.com