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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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 us 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)
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Augustus L. Hudson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 20:40:00 -0800
Subject: Dear Friend (VITAL INFORMATION FOR YOU REGARDING ABANDONED TREASURES) 184.108.40.206
Sorry for this unexpected message to you. I am Augustus Hudson, a Security Manager at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Georgia USA. During a recent routine check at all Security/Storage Units at the airport, I discovered an abandoned shipment in your name coming from London which was on Transit to your city but was intercepted by the Atlanta Airport Authorities for lack of proper clearance papers as the consignment was scanned and discovered to contain valuable cash between $4.5 to $5Million US Dollars in estimation that was not properly declared to the authorities since the tags on the consignment showed the item contains Personal Belongings/ Family Treasures which is not in regulations to the delivery requirements by TSA so in this regards, the consignment was placed on hold until proper clearances are provided by a reliable Government source.
However, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself as a Security Manager at the Atlanta Airport to contact you personally about this abandoned shipment is because I want us to transact this business and share the money together in the consignment box since the box has not yet been returned to the United states Treasury Department for further inspection after being abandoned by the shipper so immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead with all negotiations with the airport authorities for the release of the consignment box to me as your representative so I can arrange for the delivery to your city since the encoded Tag on the Bill of entry for the consignment was declared as personal effect so the reconciliation of Correct Manifest information as Valuable cash in the new Bill of entry is needed before the release can be implemented.
Lastly, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment, I will advise you provide your Full Names with Initials, Home delivery address, current Phone Number and the closest airport to you to enable me cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official documents so I can go ahead and pay for the United States Clearance Fee myself including the normalization of your Bill of Entry and arrange for the box to be moved out of this Airport to your address. Once we are through with this process, I will deploy the services of a secured shipping Company geared towards providing the security it needs to your doorstep. Or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble. But I will share it 70% for you while 30% for me but you have to assure me of my 30% share.
For confidentiality purposes, I will not be able to receive your details on my official email account for security reason as all emails are monitored. So for quick processing and response to you, kindly send your details to my private email account( firstname.lastname@example.org ) so we can act swiftly.
Mr. Augustus Hudson
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
P.O. Box 20509 Atlanta, GA 30320
Tel: (404) 462-8709
Fax: (404) 530-6667
Private Email: ( email@example.com )