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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: STEPHEN ADAMS <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 12:27:44 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Important and Urgent Massage Concerning your Package
The diplomat delivering Our package is stranded at Atlanta GA International
Airport,because he lost your address during the first inspection from U.S
Custom. Send your home address and phone number & Nearest Airport to him today
and assist him when he contact you for more direction. His name is Mr. Paul
Uba, he's at
Atlanta GA International Airport with Our package he is delivering
to other people at New Jersey. He'll need to proceed to your address
immediately after his first delivery therefore e-mail him your complete
information for smooth delivery.contact him on the below information and you
have to comply with him to enable him have successful delivery. Remember, the
Amount on the consignment is $20million and his not aware of it.
Twenty MILLION U.S.Dollars is in the consignment package delivering by
Mr.Paul Uba . Email:(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Phone( 928-554-2514 )
Mr. STEPHEN ADAMS +229-6139-2943