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:
- "affidavit of claim" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "Robert Coffey" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 23:16:18 +0100
Subject: CONGRATULATIONS, YOUR FUNDS JUST ARRIVED
From: Maurice Edward Brown
C/o Cargo Unit
JFK International Airport
New York USA
Confirmation required on package delivery.
This is to notify you of a consignment/package that arrived and was deposited with the cargo unit of the JFK International Airport New York USA, in your favor and with this email as consignee's contact email address. consequently, we have not received your message or word giving proper directives and consent on delivery.
presently we are confronted with Mr. Ian John Jackson, a black United Kingdom (UK) citizen and Mrs. Joan Bailey from USA requesting for the claim of your Consignment/package valued at $25 Million.
This your consignment/package has been deposited in our security vault for safe keeping by the United Nations Debt Re-conciliation commission pending your contact to us for the release via a proper delivery to you at your preferred address, Direct telephone number where you can be reached
Please confirm this information to us now because Mr. Ian John Jackson has presented an affidavit of claim in the respect of the consignment and has been seeking to pay us our delivery and handling charges for your consignment package to be released and delivered to his own address on your behalf.
An urgent confirmation from you on this matter is very important.