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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Elvi Meigh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Elvi Meigh" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 19:30:59 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Beloved in the Lord
Beloved in the LordÂ
My name is Mrs. Elvi Meigh am from a Country called Cote Dâ Ivoire we are the first in Coco producing in the world which my late husband was one of the highest producer of coco in our contry
I am contacting you in respect of the fund Kept in my care as next/kin which i intend to invest in your country for the homeless children and widows like me
Actually, I acquired the sum of ($7.000.000.00) Seven million United States dollars in my care cash in a consignment trunk box from my late husband Mr. Edward Meigh , an Ivorian politician and also a businessman (Gold Sellers/Miners)
I am sorry for reaching you so urgently without prior knowledge of each other. But this is due to the urgency in my motive to secure a trusted partner who can assist me in this very confidential transaction; I wait your urgent answer of your ability to handle this
All arrangement to bring the consignment Box to your country will be legally arrange perfectly without any harm. Let me hear from you if you can assist me in this to save my life