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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Williams Abbas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 06:24:59 +0000
Subject: Urgent Assistance
How are you doing and i hope all is well with you and your family.
I am Williams Abbas from Syria, but presently in a refugee camp in Turkey and Daddy and mummy i need your help towards my consignment box which is presently with a diplomat in France and my lawyer told me that i should look for a foreign beneficiary who will help me claim the funds from the diplomat and the Diplomat is presently in France and i cannot claim the consignment from the diplomat because i have a refugee statue on me and that is why i am seeking for your urgent help towards my box that is presently in France.
I am Williams Abbas am just 16yrs old and i lost my family in suicide bomb in Aleppo Syria and before my father die, he told me that he have a consignment with a diplomat in France and i spoke to the Diplomat and he told me that i should inform my beneficiary to come to France to claim it there and mummy and daddy you are my only hope i have and the diplomat is waiting for you, mummy and daddy when you indicate your interested, i will give you more details about that and i am ready to discuss % with you, if you are interested to help me, please get back to me immediately with your full details to my E-mail: email@example.com
Waiting to hear from you soonest.