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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "William S. Symington" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2018 18:34:42 -0500
Subject: 27TH JAN., 2018/ Tag NO.: XXXX Dear Receiver,
From United States Ambassador To Nigeria
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive Central
District Area, Abuja Nigeria
We want to let you know that the sum of $10million being a contract/inheritance/compensation and winning fund
I have make an arrangement of coming to your country with your consignment winning box as a united state agent i have the power to
pass customs and security agencies without any blockage if the consignment is completely registered.
You are to confirm the tracking of some person that receive their consignment box with UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICES (USPS) .
Tracking no: 9405501699320141225259,
Tracking no: 9405501699320141225198
You are instructed to provide the below particulars:
My trip will be upon the receipt of your above particulars so that
delivery can commence with your consignment Tag NO.:XXXX.
My Biography :https://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/227407.htm
God bless America
William S. Symington