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:
- "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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Yasmina M. Ayoub" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 03:11:48 -0800
Subject: Please save me and my family from this mess
Could you please as a matter of urgency be of help to us in taking
custody of an amount of $5,000.000.00 to be moved into Jordan out of
Syria in the face of civil war all over Syria. Due to my husbands
position in the Syria Army and the treat in our lifeâs, it has become
very necessary and crucial for us to secure the family future.
All preliminary arrangement to move this fund out of Syria is in place
awaiting slightest opportunity and assurance from the diplomatic
source we are using to move the fund and are hopeful that in the next
72hrs it will arrive for safe keeping in a secured security trust
awaiting our nominee and trustee to take custody.
We are willing to negotiate percentage on the total amount in your
favour and will be very happy to hear from you upon receipt of the
We appeal to you to keep this message very confidential as even the
security house in Jordan will not be made aware of content in the
consignment for security reasons.
Mrs. Yasmina M. Ayoub