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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "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 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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (Yahoo, Norway; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- des armees, abuja nigeria. email: email@example.com attn: beneficiary, i would like to introduce myself to you, (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Alice Joy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 23:53:39 +0400
Subject: In Regards to your $2Million dollars
Parcel Express Company
Consignment Collection Point
Boulevard des Armees,
I would like to introduce myself to you, I am MRS.Alice Joy the contact person to the Above security company.
Sometime ago a consignment was deposited in your E-mail address with our security company, hoping that one day you would come forward to collect your
consignment but for a very long time now no one has presented him or herself to collected this consignment.
According to the policy of this security company,any consignment that has spent the maximun time would be subject to Scan to ensure that any item deposited in it is not damaged. I would love want to inform you that When the routin Scan was conducted, we discorvered that your consignment was filled with cash
($2million)(two MILLION DOLLARS) and since you are the sole benefactor to this consignment,you are required to come forward to claim this consignment.
For your refrence, a Non- Inspection Tag was attached to it at the point of Deposit hence can not be openned until it Departs our custody to your address.
Please I would want you to forward the below requirements to My delivery agent Mr. David Jack (email@example.com) as above with:
1.YOUR FULL NAMES
2.YOUR PHONE NUMBER CONTACT
3.YOUR FULL RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS.
To verify the data we have with us about you,Note that the only fee you will pay before getting your consignment delivered direct to your postal Address in
your country is ($190.00 US) only being Security Keeping Fee of the Parcel Express Company before I can guide you on the day to exspect this consignment
from Our Delivery Agent Parcel Express Company.
I hope to hear from you soon,