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)
- ",500,000" (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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Maureen Samuleh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Maureen Samuleh" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:04:39 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Registration No: DSU/426/RF/083
Â Consignment valued of US$7,500,000 Million / Registration No: DSU/426/RF/083.
This is to inform you that we have discovered that your funds payment has not been released to you according to the earlier instructions and has been delayed unnecessarily. We sincerely apologies for the damages this delay might have caused you.
I also want to let you know that I have used my office as supervising director to smooth the progress of our official agreement to pay you sum of $7,500,000 Million USD in cash which we have already packaged the money in two consignment boxes and also arranged to deliver it to you through a courier agent.
I registered the boxes myself and told the courier agent that I will advise you to contact him with your delivery information, these includes;
Youâre Full Name:
Your Residence Address:
And Nearest Airport:
His name is: John Harrison
E-mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been in search of your contact for the past 48hours so you should note that the agent John Harrison is stranded at the airport now and waiting to receive the delivery information from you to enable him proceed to make the delivery to you today just like I instructed him. I am relocating to Japan on transfer so you need to contact the agent once you receive this message so that the packages will not be diverted and note that if you lose this last chance then you will not be able to receive the payment anymore. So send the above listed delivery information to him now via his e-mail ID: email@example.com
Mrs. Maureen Samuleh