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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "GLOBAL FREIGHT COURIER SERVICE (GFC)." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2014 00:26:30 -0800
Subject: Your Package Have Sucessfully Arrive Your Country
I'm Agent Tony Obi,i am the UN diplomatic agent conveying your package consignment from Nigeria right now i am at the JFK International Aiport, USA. I have been trying to reach you on your phone some hours ago, just to inform you about my successful arrival to your country, with your package box of consignment worth $3.6 Dollars which I have been instructed by Global Freight Delivery Company to be delivered to you. But is quite unfortunate that i misplace your information giving to me so i decide to write you through email for immediate action and reconfirmation of your information so i will proceed to your nearest Airport and deliver your package to you.
Get back to me now as soon as possible and reconfirm the below details;
Your Nearest Airport:
Get back to me with the below information so i will proceed to your destination with your consignment box today.
Email :( email@example.com )
UN Diplomatic Agent .