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 friend" (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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (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: "From Mr. Titus Benjamin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "From Mr. Titus Benjamin" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 08:05:42 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear Friend,
My name is Benjamin Titus. I am manager in Global Security Company here in Abidjan Cote DâIvoire. My reason for contacting you is to transfer an abandoned Consignment deposited in our custody coded as family valuable treasure which I find out the content of the consignment after political war in the country 2010,Â
The owner of this Consignment died with his wife during war which he used her name as next of kin, if you can strongly receive the consignment in your country, I will change Next of kin in your name so to transfer this Consignment to your door step through diplomatic courier ,
The total sun is Six Million Eight Hundred Euro (â¬6.8Million) both of us will share 50/50 as soon as I receive your mail indicating your interest by proving your full address, international passport copy with telephone number , I assure you that this Consignment will deliver to your country with five days ,
Mr. Titus Benjamin