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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "AMBASSADOR JAMES F ENTWISTLE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 2015 02:55:35 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS
US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA
11 GARKI ROAD ABUJA
WEB SITE BIOGRAPHY: http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/biography.html
I AM AMBASSADOR JAMES F ENTWISTLE THE NEW APPOINTED USA AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA,
I SHALL BE COMING TO USA FOR A MEETING AND WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT I WILL BE COMING WITH YOUR CONSIGNMENT PACKAGE.
SO ALL YOU ARE ADVISE TO DO IS TO FURNISH ME WITH YOUR PASSPORT PHOTOGRAPH AND YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS ALSO YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT WERE I WILL ARRIVED.
NOTE THAT AS SOON AS I CONFIRM THIS INFORMATION I WILL BOOK MY FLIGHT TICKET BECAUSE I HAVE FIND OUT THAT YOU HAVE PAID A LOT OF MONEY AND AFTER PAYING YOU RECEIVE NOTHING THAT IS WHY I AM USING MY POSITION TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL AMERICAN BENEFICIARY AND CANADA AND EUROPE BENEFICIARY INCLUDING ASIA RECOVER ALL THEIR LOST FUND WHICH NIGERIA AND UK OFFICIALS COLLECTED FROM YOU IN RESPECT OF YOUR CONTRACT PAYMENT/COMPENSATION AND YOU LOTTERY WINNING
FINALLY NOTE THAT IT WILL ONLY COST YOU THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR ONLY AS I WILL USED IT TO REGISTER YOUR CONSIGNMENT AS AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE SO THAT ON MY ARRIVAL TO ANY AIRPORT YOUR CONSIGNMENT WILL NOT BE CONFISCATED
AMBASSADOR JAMES F ENTWISTLE
USA AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA