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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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, Philippines, Philippines; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Dr. Tony James" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Rev. Dr. Tony James" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:43:10 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: NOTE:THIS IS YOUR PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO OVX950.
Â NOTE:THIS IS YOUR PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO OVX950.
I want to acknowledge you that we have finally succeeded in getting your
package worthâs of $7.5USD out of ECOWAS department with the help of Mr.
James George Attorney General of Federal High Court of Justice so you are
advised to reconfirm your full delivery information to the Agent Jerry cook
right now as he is currently at your International Airport, you have to
email him no this ( email@example.com ) because he have be successful arrival
with your two CONSIGNMENT BOX and also has already called me with his number
on his arrival 4hours ago So contact him to deliver your boxes first thing
tomorrow morning possibly today Make sure the bellow stated codes are
identified when contacting him and the content of the boxes should not be
revealed for his does not know the content as it's a VIP Delivery dispatched
directly from my office and the director of the Company
SHIPMENT CODE GJK72DWQ
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO OVX950.
SECURITY CODE EYTU/3055WEZ/263/
TRANSACTION CODE 7126/JLFS/7138/17305/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE MCBS/PQLE/2-6/41
Mobile Phone Number========
Nearest Airport ===========
Current Home Address========
his name is DIPLOMATIC Jerry cook
Email ;( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Rev. Dr. Tony James
CALL ME AFTER GOING THROUGH THE EMAIL +229-61147084