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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Agent Charles" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 05:39:00 +0100
Subject: ARE YOU AWARE OF THIS? GET BACK TO ME
I am Agent Charles Uba, Senior Security Officer from Murtala Muhammed
International Airport Security Service Nigeria.
We are hereby wish to inform you that we have recovered your Inheritance
Payment/Consignment (box) from Lt Gen James Morgan who was trying to redirect
the delivery to another address which totally different from yours, and he
stated that you are aware of changing the delivery address to another
destination and we decided to confirm from you before we can release the
consignment to him, please are you aware of changing the delivery of your
consignment (box) to another destination?
This consignment (box) was retrieved from who claimed to be Lt Gen James
Morgan during our last routine inspection suspected to be banking instruments
worth Millions of United States Dollar notes in cash as indicated on the
Confirm to us if we should allow Lt Gen James Morgan to proceed with the
redirection of your consignment/box to his its destination.
Lt Gen James Morgan is in our custody with your consignment, you respond
Waiting for your urgent response.
Mr. Charles Uba.
Security Service Nigeria)