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:
- "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)
- 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.
- 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: "DR DON PETER" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 6 May 2016 09:38:35 -0500
Subject: URGENT MESSAGE
I UNDERSTAND ALL YOUR FEAR BASED ON THE FAKE PEOPLE WHO DEFRAUDED YOU OF YOUR FUNDS IN THE PAST. DO NOT WORRY , YOUR PROBLEMS ARE OVER NOW. YOUR ORIGINAL CONSIGNMENT WILL BE DELIVERED TO YOU IN YOUR COUNTRY. WHICH YOU WILL CONFIRM THE TRUTH THIS TIME AROUND.
I ONLY WANT YOU TO GIVE URGENT ATTENTION TO THIS TRANSACTION NOW, AND GIVE THE AGENT EVERY SUPPORT HE REQUIRED TO ENSURE THAT YOUR CONSIGNMENT IS CLEARED WITHOUT BEING SCREENED /DETECTED BY THE AUTHORITIES IN YOUR COUNTRY.
I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE THIS CONSIGNMENT AND COMPENSATE ME FOR ALL MY EFFORTS I HAVE MADE TO MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE YOUR ORIGINAL CONSIGNMENT.
KEEP THIS ARRANGEMENT WITH YOU ALONE UNTIL YOU CONFIRM THE FUNDS INTACT WHEN THE AGENT ARRIVES IN YOUR HOUSE, AND YOU TAKE THE FUNDS TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT AND DEPOSIT IT.
I WILL COME TO YOUR COUNTRY. TO MEET YOUR ONE ON ONE SO THAT YOU WILL KNOW ME IN PERSON AND OFFER ME MY COMPENSATION AMOUNT BEFORE I RETURN BACK.
KINDLY LET ME KNOW HOW MUCH YOU INTEND TO GIVE ME AS A COMPENSATION FOR MY EFFORTS AND HELPS IN THIS ARRANGEMENTS. LET YOUR REPLY BE TO THIS EMAIL:firstname.lastname@example.org OR YOU CALL ME ON MY NUMBER +447839756816
DR DON PETER