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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Luka Chachibaia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 14:36:02 -0800
Subject: EMAIL ME BACK URGENTLY !!! 59
My name is Luka Chachibaia, I am a citizen of Ukraine and the Vice President Operations of Tethys Petroleum, a multi-national oil corporation operating from London-England, UK. I am seeking your assistance to retrieve the sum of ($40,000.000) Forty Million Dollars consisting of two consignment boxes.
This money was accompanied by a diplomat to the U.S.A for charity project, my reason for this is because I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live. I am very rich, but was never generous; I have given most of my assets to my immediate family members. Please go through website below for more updates about me legally.
Each of the boxes contains $20M and for your help I am ready to release 30% to you, for security reasons the consignment was registered to be CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS and I can explain why it was declared so. Bear in mind that the diplomat is not aware of the content of the consignment, it has been there for the past 1 month while I intend to look for a reliable partner.
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations. I cannot do this myself anymore because of my health. I once asked members of my family to give some money to charity organizations, they refused and kept the money, I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations. You will take out 30% of these funds for your assistance to help ME disburse this fund to charities.
Right now the only form of correspondence is through my own e-mail address below, please in the interest of confidentiality only reply through my direct email address. Reply along with your full names,direct cell phone and fax number where I can alternatively reach you on.
Please if you are not willing and interested in helping me kindly delete this email from your email and pretend you never got it.
Vice President Operations