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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Diplomat S.K Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 18:15:10 -0700
Subject: Re: VERY GOOD NEWS FOR YOU
I'm Diplomat S.K WILLIAMS; I have been trying to reach you on your telephone about an hour now just to inform you about my successful arrival in Charlotte Douglas International Airport with your two consignment boxes worth $10.5 Million United State Dollars which I have been instructed by President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to be delivered to you. please kindly reconfirm to me your destination information.
The Airport authority demanded for all the legal back up papers to prove to them that the fund is no way related with drug nor fraud money, I have presented the papers I handed to them and they are very much pleased with the papers Please try and reach me with my international roaming number +1 213-921-8709 as I can not afford to spend more time here due to other delivery I have to take care of in New Mexico.
I want you to know that you have 24 hours to call me on phone +1 213-921-8709 As you may know I do not want the security company where this Consignment is lodged to start raising an eye brow because of the length of time it has stayed. However, before the delivery is effected, we need you to reconfirm the following information so that the funds will not be delivered to someone else.
3.Direct Telephone Numbers,
After verification of the information with what I have on file, I shall contact you so that we can make arrangements on the exact time I will be bringing your package to your residential address. Send the requested information so that we can proceed.
Diplomat S.K Williams
Phone +1 213-921-8709