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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Clement Berry" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Dr. Clement Berry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 17:21:25 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Please can you assist receive this consignment box that is already.
Let me start by introducing myself to you. I am Dr. Clement Berry,the Head of Delivery Unit Cotonou Cadjehoun Int'l Airport Benin Republic. I sent my diplomat to make a Delivery of a Consignment belonging to Fred Latchaw, when the diplomat arrived At the California Airport,He called the telephone number that was given to him and someone else picked the call and confirm to us that Fred Latchaw died 2-days ago in a car accident.
The Diplomat is presently at the California Airport and cannot return back the consignment to Benin Republic based on the fact that if he returns it,The government will confiscate it. I decided to search for a New and Trust-Worthy Person that can help receive the consignment and we both will share in the ratio of 50/50.
During my research I found your name and email address and I deem it fit to email and inform you.The diplomat presently is still at the California Airport waiting for instruction on where to make the delivery.The Consignment contains $7.5Million USD and we shall share this funds when the consignment is delivered to you.If you can assist to receive the consignment,Kindly furnish me with YOUR FULL NAMES,DELIVERY ADDRESS,CELL PHONE NUMBER & OCCUPATION So the Consignment Can be delivered to you as the New Beneficiary. Send your reply to my official email address: email@example.com
I will wait to hear from you.
Dr. Clement Berry