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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier company" (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.
- 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; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Angela Sessa <"www."@marble.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mrs Angela Sessa <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 10:08:38 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Attention Needed!!!
Urgent Attention Needed!!!
Compliment of the day to you and Your Family.
I just received a call from the Director of Scarlet Courier Company Benin that the ATM Card parcel was sent to you returned due to wrong address,The ATM CARD contained your $2.500.000.00 united state dollars, your compensation fund. Therefore call the director (Jeffery Walter) on Tel: (+229)68939295, or email him at: (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and give him your correct address and Phone number.
Use this code (XAC-4554) as the subject of your mail to them for identification.
BATCH NO XAC-4554
SHIPMENT CODE 33XZS
THE AIRWAY BILL NUMBER.GX843KRT
CONSIGNMENT REGISTERED CODES NO XGT4777.
SECURITY CODES NO SCT/2071DHXY
Thanks and God bless you,
Mrs Angela Sessa.
FROM IMF OFFICE.