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:
- "certificate fee" (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. )
- "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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("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 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 TONY ERIC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 20:44:34 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Attention Please:
I am DIPLOMATIC MR. TONY ERIC, I have been trying to reach you on your email about few hours ago, just to inform you about my successful arrival Los Angeles International Airport, 1 World Way, Los Angeles, CA 90045, California USA with your two boxes of consignment worth $2.3 Million 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 papers I presented but the only thing that is still keeping me here is the origin of fund certificate which is not placed on the boxes, one of the Airport Authority has advise that we get the delivery origin of fund certificate so that I can exit the airport Immediately and make my delivery successful .
I try to reason with them and they stated the delivery origin of fund certificate will cost us just $40 Dollars only to get the two origin of fund certificate placed on the boxes as that origin of fund certificate 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 in the whole world. Meanwhile you are advice to reconfirm the below information upon contacting me with your fully information to avoid delivery to wrong person.
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)
6- Your nearest airport
You can direct the origin of fund certificate fee to our Head Office as theywill get it here for you and they are entitled to receive and make any payment to foreign countries authority.
DIPLOMATIC MR.TONY ERIC, GET BACK TO ME IN MY
EMAIL NOW email@example.com
or call me with this number below: Telephone:323-432-758
Receivers Name: ==Ude Joseph
Country Benin Republic.
Text Question. GLORY BE
Answer: To GOD
Once you made the payment give me call with this number bellow:323-432-758 or send me an emailyour immediate action towards this issue is needed ASAP
Diplomat MR.TONY ERIC,
FROM DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR TONY ERIC, CALL ME U.S.A LINE:: 323-432-7508