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 us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Citromail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Topchrono Courier" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 11:45:46 -0700
Subject: CONTACT THE DELIVERY AGENT
The delivery of your consignment box containing $5.5 Million US Dollars was halted,it is surprising to us that this shipmentis being delayed & we have asked the delivery agent not to return but wait behind so you will be contacted on this. You are advised to get in touch Mike Hanssen with the fee to get the needed clearance so he can complete the delivery.
Make sure you contact him with the following for security reasons;
Your full names
His email address is email@example.com
We will like to remind you the delivery agent doesn't have much time to stay on this and so you have to contact him as soon as possible.
Mr. Mico Lawson