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)
- "million 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)
- 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: "Rev. Dr. Richard Great" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Rev. Dr. Richard Great" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 19:12:00 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attn Package Beneficiary
Our company's diplomat, who has your Consignment Box, is currently stranded
at Atlanta International Airport.
In order to smoothly complete the delivery of your box, he will need the following
information (listed below) to release the delivery of your box. It is strongly
suggested that you do not reveal that the box contains 10.5 million dollars in United
Information needed is:
Your Full Name=============
Current Home Address========
Mobile Phone Number========
Nearest Airport ===========
Your occupation ===========
SHIPMENT CODE ZNS9LE47MAQ
SECURITY CODE UDKWNGPSA/8301/
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO 3KD819.
TRANSACTION CODE 693/HWSV/0F2/P501/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE DHSO/GPEW/0472/
REVEREND DR. RICHARD GREAT
CELLULAR PHONE +229-9805-7458