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:
- "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 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Agent John Edward" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 12:22:45 +0100
Subject: Re: FROM AGENT JOHN EDWARD GET BACK TO ME IMMEDIATELY (G11)
I received an INTEL MEMO from the WHITE HOUSE in my office today and I must advice you as follows:
1: I received an Intel from our wiretap internet protocol office that my communication with you have been breached by impostors which have prompted immediate action from my side to make sure that this transaction is secured. Today, I issue you this code for communication (G11) which must be contained both in the subject and at the end of any of my email letter to you, This is for your own good.
2: With instruction from the White House and the United states Department of Homeland Security, I am informing you that you due consignment box containing your total payment fund of US$10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars) is approved for release and delivery to you as soon as you fulfill all “OBLIGATION” and offset the refundable "PROOF OF OWNERSHIP CERIFICATE" mandated by the IRS on all consignment that has been in our vault over 3 months
Note that as i write you now, your funds contained in your consignment box is presently in our maximum storage vault in Atlanta, GA and will only be marked cleared for release once you fulfill all “OBLIGATION" stated on your release questionnaire by Homeland security.
Once I hear from you, I will instruct further.
Agent John Edward (G11).