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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "@diplomats.com" ("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. )
- 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: "diplomat terry gilson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 14:48:50 -0400
Subject: Im DIPLOMATIC Mr.Terry Gilson please Call 2098987099 .
I¡¯m DIPLOMATIC Mr.Terry Gilson,I just to inform you about my successful
arrival in Sacramento International Airport california with your two boxes of
consignment worth $4.5.M USD which I have been instructed by NEBRO DIPLOMATIC
COURIER SERVICE to be delivered to you. The Airport authority demanded for all
the legal back up papers to prove to them that the fund is no way related with
drug nor fraud money, I have presented the papers I handed to them and they
are very much pleased with the paper¡¯s I presented but the only thing that is
still keeping me here is the airport delivery Tag which is not placed on the
boxes, one of the Airport Authority has advise that we get the delivery tag so
that I can exit the airport immediately and make my delivery successful .
I try to reason with them and they stated the delivery tag will cost us just
$152 Dollars only to get the two tag placed on the boxes as that tag will
enable me get to your house successfully without any interference,they scanned
the boxes and found out that the fund is 100 % spend able and accepted by any
bank inthe whole world.
as I can not afford to spend more time here due to other delivery I have to
take care of in Bangkok I have more vital paper with me but I can only present
you the hard copy when I reach your house as that it¡¯s the diplomatic rules,
authorization to deliver.
You can direct the tag fee to our Head Office as they will get it here for you
and they are entitled to receive and make any
payment to foreign countries authority. DIPLOMATIC Mr.Terry Gilson
GET BACK TO ME IN MY TELEPHONE NO# 209-8987-099
EMAIL NOW; (email@example.com)
Receiver Chukwuma Ekene
Country Benin Republic .
Amount $152 US Dollars
Text Question. Chukwuma
Meanwhile you are advice to reconfirm the below information to me to avoid any
1- Your Full Name
2- Your Delivery Address
3- Your Contact Telephone Number
4- Your Occupation
5- Your Identification (Passport number or ID card number)
DIPLOMATIC Mr.Terry Gilson .