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:
- "search for a reliable person" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "'Lewis Hawkins' via 419trap" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2017 16:17:47 +0100
Subject: Very Urgent
I am contacting you regarding a special cargo that has been abandoned here
at our warehouse for over a period of 2 years and when scanned, it revealed
an undisclosed sum of money in it. From my findings, the cargo originated
from Europe and the content was not declared as money by the consignor in
order to avoid diversion by the shipping agent, and also failure to pay the
special cargo non-inspection fee of 3,200. I strongly believe the box will
contain about 4.6 million or more.
In my private search for a reliable person, my proposal now is to present
you as the recipient of the cargo since the shipper has abandoned it which
is a possibility due to the fact it has been abandoned for a period whereby
a new beneficiary can be presented to the clearance department for claim
and also my position at this shipping service. I will pay for the fee and
arrange for the cargo to be delivered to your address. Alternatively, I can
personally bring it myself and then we share the total money in the box
Mr. Lewis Hawkins