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)
- "million united states 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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Diplomatic Agent <"www."@diary.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Diplomatic Agent <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2017 13:12:56 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention I'm A Diplomatic Agent Ronald White
I am diplomatic agent Ronald White, I am now in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport with your consignment box worth $10.5 Million United States Dollars waiting for delivery because I was mandated by the ups courier services to deliver your consignment box to you and I arrived yesterday and they further stated that it is your compensation fund from the International Monetary Fund Annual Compensation Benin.
So reconfirm me your delivery information once again to avoid wrong delivery because I lost all your address, before i will proceed with the delivery.
Immediately the above mention information is reconfirmed and check with the one in my database and it matches then I will proceed with the delivery at once.
Note: Please call or text immediately received this message?
Agent Ronald White