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:
- "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)
- "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.
- 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: "Mr. Wallace M. Udodi" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mr. Wallace M. Udodi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2015 07:32:47 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Your registered consignment box ready for delivery
UPS CARGO AIRMAIL SERVICES
Address: No. 2 Harbour Road Cotonou
Compliment of the day
On behalf of the board and management of United Parcel Service PortoNovo, I Mr. Wallace M. Udodi, the Operations Manager wishes to inform you that your box tagged diplomatic luggage 122 with Ref No: 1226/X42/206 which was deposited in our vault for safe keeping and delivery to your address by Mr. Andy Richard snr under foreign affair commission. Have it in mind that your winning amount contained in the consignment box is safe and you are the only person to unlock the consignment box with the secret sealed CODE which will be release to you by the delivery agent upon their arrival to your address. we have also concluded all arrangements to deliver your consignment at your address through United Parcel Service UPS delivery. In line with the binding consignment delivery policies, kindly furnish us with the following as set forth.
The address where the above cargo/funds should be delivered to and your phone number.
A copy of your international passport or any other means of identification as the true consignee .
List the nearest international airport to your address location.
Meanwhile, we urge you to treat the above requirement with utmost urgency to enable us dispense our duties and obligation accordingly thereby allowing us to serve you in a timely fashion. Upon satisfactory receipt of all the above mentioned, you Will be further acquainted with the detailed delivery itinerary including information of the delivery agents who will accompany your box to your address as titled Home delivery.
We pledge our best service at all times.
Await your respond.
Mr. Wallace M. Udodi