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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: HOMELAND SECURITY <"work-towa.."@poppy.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: HOMELAND SECURITY <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 03:00:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: DEAR BENEFICIARY
I,m Kirstjen Nielsen. The secretary of the U.S Department of Homeland security Washington DC. Office Address: 3801 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, United States. We received a report from ECOWAS that you have an abandoned fund worth $5 Million in West Africa. I have instructed ECOWAS and the concerned authorities to bring the consignment box to our Head office in Washington DC. the fund will arrive my office today. I want you to kindly Reconfirm Your Full Name, Current Home Address, Nearest Airport and your Direct Cell Phone # So that arrangement can be made for the delivery of the consignment to your home address. I can be reached at +1(202)945-4038 text or Voice Message if i am unavailable to answer.
I wait to hear from you.
The secretary of
the U.S Department of
3801 Nebraska Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20016,