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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "a 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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: UNITED NATIONS <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2013 08:52:59 -0400
Subject: =?Windows-1252?Q?Claim_You=92?= =?Windows-1252?Q?re_Over_Du?=
Claim Youre Over Due Compensation Funds.
I am Mr. Mark Garten secretary to United Nation
General Secretary Ban Ki-moon , a diplomat by profession, this is
to inform you about your compensation Funds of ($3.5M) that has been brought
here in O. R. Tambo International Airport (IATA: JNB,Gauteng, South Africa From
United Nation , owed to various beneficiaries and Companies across the globe
(Asia, Europe, USA, Africa, and Australia) and Submit the list of the unpaid
beneficiaries/companies to the 2 appointed Official delivery service for
immediate payment of the fund, which is to be delivered to you in your house
address, please you are hereby informed that the consignment will be delivered
to your address.
All we need from you is your full address of where the
delivery will be made to you.
You are advice to reconfirm your information and how you
want your fund Paid to you without further delay if you are healthy enough to
check your Mail.
Below is the information you are expected to re-confirm,
1. Full Name:
____________Date of Birth: ________
6. Phone: _______Fax:_____________________
7. State of Origin:
8. Drivers license:
9. Copy of Your
To have me conclude delivery of your compensation Funds
of ($3.5M) to you.
Diplomat: Mr. Mark Garten.