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:
- "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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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: "Mrs. Jenna Goudreau" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 06:17:56 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: Pick Up Your MascterCard Award Winer
Name: Economic Community of West African States
Year of foundation: 1975
Headquarters: Porto Novo Benin Republic
Official Email : email@example.com
ECOWAS Office Contact No +229 99265231
Chief Manager Muna Joe
Dear Award Winner
I Have Registered Your Package Vial Dhl Express This Morning And We Agree
Up That The Delivery Of Your $5.8M ATM Card Consignment Box Will Take Off
So Contact Them With Your Full Info
(1) Full Names: -------------
(2) Phone Line : ------------
(3) Country Of Origin : --------
(4) Age : ----------------
(5) Occupation : ----------
(6) Home Address : -------
Contact Mr. Jerry Bright
Tell: (+229) 95990794
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org