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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 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)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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: Jeffrey Mark <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 12:38:03 +0100
Subject: please Read carefully and follow my instruction
My name is Jeffrey Mark, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
officer. I wish to acquaint you that a diplomat in possession of a box
containing worth 12.5 million dollars died after being confirmed
positive for coronavirus on the 17Th of September 2020, at the Austin
Bergstrom International Airport on his way to your city to deliver
the Box to you.
He secretly informed me before his demise that the box belongs to you
and he further explained to me that your email was among the few
luckily selected in the ongoing scam victims compensation reward by
the World Bank.
He pleaded to me before his death to assist him deliver this
consignment box to you.Before I will proceed with further prove and
details,please kindly send me the requested details to ensure that the
box is delivered to the right person reconfirm your the following
HOME ADDRESS FOR THE DELIVERY:
Please, get back to me asap and also endeavor to keep this to yourself
as am doing this selfless service to ensure the diplomat's last wish