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:
- "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)
- "30% for you " (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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Esther James" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Esther James" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 09:50:04 -0700
Subject: My Dear One, How are you doing today?
My Dear One, How are you doing today?
How are you doing today? I am Mrs. Esther from Swizaland, female 60 years old with deadly cancer disease and have no kids. Please the reason why i'm contacting you is that, i'm looking for a good person that will receive a huge amount of fund from me to do a charity work by helping the helpless ones building charity organization to help the needies i inherited the fund from my late husband who died 2009.
I will need you to stand and retrieve the consignment box from the security Company and transfer it to your country to use it according to my wish and wish of my late husband for charity work helping the orphans and mothless babies because my doctor told me that i will not live long again and i have nobody to inherit this fund if i die.
You will use 70% for the work of God while 30% for you and your family. Be informed that the security firm does not know the real content of the consignment box as my late husband deposited it as family valuable and he warned me seriously before his death not to let the security company know the content of the box due to the huge amount involved.
Please reply to my private email address if you are willing and ready from the bottom of your heart to use this fund for the work of God according to my wish and my husband. Get back to me so that i will explain more details. (email@example.com )