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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cotonou" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Father Gorge Moore" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 11:06:50 +0100
UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND WORLD BANK FACT-FINDING & SPECIAL DUTIES OFFICE Office of The Director Special duties.Cotonou,Republic of Benin
PLEASE REPLY TO MY PRIVATE BOX Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special duties reference
UNO/WBF ? SG
DIPLOMATIC BOX 55KG
To the Beneficiary,
The World Bank Group, Fact Finding & Special Duties office I conjunction with the United Nations Organization, has received part of your pending payment with reference number (LM-05-371) amounting to ($15.5million(Fifteen million five hundred thousand USA Dollars) out of your contractual/inheritance funds from our ordering contractor Bank quoting reference to UNO/WBF LM-05-371, the said payment is been arranged in a Security-proof trunk box weighing 75kg padded with synthetic nylon.According to information gathered from the bank's security computer we were notified that you have waited for so long to receive this payment without success, we also confirmed that you have not met all statutory requirements in respect of your pending payment. You are therefore advised to contact our Payment Clearance Department to obtain necessary information to the Security courier service company that is specialized in sending diplomatic materials and information from one country to another,wh
ich also has diplomatic immunity
This office has met with this Security courier service and concluded shipping arrangement with them, therefore shipment will commence as soon as we have your go ahead order, the diplomat who will be bringing in this Consignment trunk (Box) to you is an expert and has been in this line of work for so many years now, so you have noting to worry about. After all arrangements we have concluded ! that you must donate (Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to a charity organization we designate to you as soon as you receive your inheritance fund. To this effect,in your response you should send to us a promissory note promising to donate the stated amount and also with your address where you will like the consignment trunk Box to be delivered to.
Please maintain topmost secrecy as it may cause a lot of problems if found out that we are using this media to help you. Therefore you are advised not to inform anyone about this until you received your consignment box.
The above requirement qualifies you for final remittance process of the received sum.
The below information would be needed for proper filing and to enable safe delivery.
Please confirm message granted with "GO AHEAD ORDER"on MY PRIVATE BOX Email; email@example.com
Father Gorge Moore
Director, Special Duties UNO/WBF