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)
- "million 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
- +447024064548 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Steve Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2016 13:10:12 +0100
Subject: Can i trust you?
I am Steve Adams the newly appointed director general in charge of approving & releasing all owed yet unpaid foreign payments ,also the special adviser to the United-Nation. I am delighted to inform you that the contract/Inheritance panel of the UN, which just concluded itâs seating in London just released your (E-mail Id & Name) among the currently approved beneficiaries who are to benefit 100% from this very diplomatic first quarter payment of the year 2015. This panel was primarily delegated to investigate all genuinely owed debts and claims as it has been over due.
At this moment, I wish to use this medium of communication to inform you that for the time being the (UN) has completely stopped further payment through bank to bank transfer, Atm Card, Bank Draft or Check Payment due to numerous petitions received from the united states home-land security, the FBI, IMF and other financial and security agencies to UK Government against our banks on wrong payment and diversion of innocent beneficiaries owed funds to a different account.
In this regards, I am going to use my good office now to send your approved part-payment in the tune of $6M (Six million United States Dollars) only by cash to you via a diplomatic courier to your door step. I will personally secure every needed documents as the newly appointed Director representing the (UN) office here in London. All these will be done perfectly only on the condition that you will give me 10% of the funds.
All you need to do now upon your acceptance of my condition, is to send to me the following: Your full name, Home address where the consignment will be delivered, Telephone numbers, Your means of identification, either passport or driver's license.
Please, You are advice to call me immediately on my direct telephone number +44-702-4064548 so we can talk and agree properly before i seal this transaction with you and if you need further clarification. I need to hear from you because the concealed boxes are already schedule to live as soon as I hear from you. Also You should respond to me through my private Email; email@example.com