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:
- "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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "operation delivery" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 12:52:59 -0800
Subject: URGENT RESPOND
Am Diplomat Gery Williams. the diplomatic agent of Universal Courier
company, I was appointed by United Nation organization and International
Monetary Fund Unit to convey the shipment of your long awaited fund to
your postal address which is the total sum of $2.5 Millions US Dollars, I
wish to inform you As the diplomatic agent conveying the delivering of
your consignment box valued for the sum of $2.5 Millions United States
Dollars i have arrived to your location as instructed by your fund
depositor but am sorry to inform you that i misplaced your address and am
currently stranded at your International airport now. Please re-confirm
the following information below so that i will know the right address to
deliver your fund to you immediately and return to my Company warehouse.
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:
A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION:
Please do contact me through my mail id below As soon as possible with the
required information's to enable me complete the delivering without any
further delay.Meanwhile bear in mind that the customs here in your country
diplomatic airport are presently going through my documentary's along with
diplomatic immunity and will release me with your consignment if
everything meet up with their demand so send your address fast so i can
complete the delivery asap after going through the diplomatic airport
customs process here in your Country.
Contact Person :Mr.Gery Williams.
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
call me on +44_ 70_ 14_ 23_ 35_ 18
I am waiting for your mail or call immediately confirming that you have
reconfirm your address to enable me make the delivering right now,Urgent
response needed now am waiting for your call now on + in my next mail to
you i shall be sending you my diplomatic passport for identification
The Accredited Diplomat