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)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Michael David," <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:18:22 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Attn: Valuable Customer,
Attn: Valuable Customer,
We wish to inform you that the Agent conveying the consignment box valued the
sum of ($4.8M US) misplaced your info on transmit
and he is currently stranded right at your
international airport with your consignment. We required you reconfirm the
following info, so he can complete
the trip contained your payment fund today.
Full Name: ============
Name of Your Nearest
Please do make contact with the agent with the email below with the
info required. Contact Person: Mr. Michael David,
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information.NOTE: The agent does
not know that the of the box is $7.8Million
USD and on no circumstances should you let him know about what it contains The
consignments was moved from here as a family treasures, so never allow him to
open it, Please make sure you do not disclose body of this letter to him so
that he won't be able to know what is in the box.