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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Kirstjen Nielsen" <Nielsen.@triton.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Kirstjen Nielsen" <email@example.com >
Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2018 17:00:28 +0900 (JST)
Subject: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY,
This is Mrs. Kirstjen Nielsen. The Secretary of the United State Department of Homeland Security. I contacted you because there is a consignment box containing a raw fiscal cash of $2.5 Million that was brought to our office by ECOEAS saying that it is yours. The $2.5 Million is a contractual inheritance Winning that was issued to you by (ECOEAS) ECOEAS means the (Economic Community of east African States) in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (I.M.F) through the U.S Embassy Kenya Republic. You are expected to kindly reconfirm your information so that the release of the Consignment box containing your winning fund can be processed and released to you. The information needed from you are YOUR FULL NAME and HOME ADDRESS. I can be reached at (202) 849-5174. Leave me a text or Voice Message if i am unavailable to answer.
I wait to hear from you.
Mrs. Kirstjen Nielsen
The secretary of
the U.S Department of
3801 Nebraska Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20016,