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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Albert Watson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:40:03 +0100
Subject: UNITED NATIONS 2015/2017//UNITED NATIONS 2015/2017
UNITED NATIONS 2015/2017
VIA OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL OVERSIGHT SERVICES
I am Diplomat Albert Watson with the United Nations,i have the mandate to deliver your consignment which has the approved compensation fund of $5 Million USD.
In view of this letter i want you to reconfirm the following details to ensure its validity for the delivery of the consignment:
Your Full Name:
Your Contact Address:
Your Cell Phone Number:
Send your response to my private mail: email@example.com
Kindly, give this letter the urgent attention it requires,i will immediately give you further directives on the procedure for the delivery on the receipt of your mail.
Dr. Albert Watson.