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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jeff Littlefield" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 13:47:57 -0800
Subject: I am Jeff Littlefield SFO Deputy Director
I am Jeff Littlefield Deputy Airport Director, Operations and Security at San Francisco International Airport USA. I am writing to obtain your consent to carry out a transaction that would be highly beneficial to both of us. I know you may be wondering why I am contacting you for this despite all the friends and relations that I have, but I decided to do this with an unknown person to avoid any form of blackmail in the future. A consignment box worth of $58,200,000.00 (Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) has been held in this office for past three years now. My men intercepted the delivery on Thursday 28th July 2011. The delivery agent from Africa told us that the consignment box contains family valuable belonging to Mrs. Linda Shaw a Canadian citizen but resides in USA but when the box was scanned it was noticed that its contents was cash payment of United States Dollars. I personal consulted Mrs. Linda Shaw and she told me that the total fund belongs to James Ibori the formal Governor of Delta State in Nigeria that was jailed for embezzled $250m (£157m) of Nigerian public funds. You can confirm this story on this link.
My purpose for contacting you now is this: Since Mr. James Ibori and relatives has denied any knowledge of this consignment, according the law the total fund should go into government treasure but I want us to claim the fund and share it 50% 50%. This is transaction is 100% risk free because I have all documents backing this claim. All I need to do is to change the documents to your name and the fund will be send to any address you will provide and once you receive it, you will wire my share into my account. Also, note that I am willing to go extra mile to make this a success because if anything goes wrong, then I stand the risk of losing my job and possibly even going to jail for trying to carry out such a transaction. This is why I am contacting you so that we can put heads together and take care of this transaction within 72 hours. Kindly get back to me immediately at (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I will advice you on how this will be carried out
Thanks & Regards
Deputy Airport Director of Operations and Security San Francisco International Airport USA.