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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "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)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "to your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "ROBERT WALTERS" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 04:21:02 +0530
Subject: URGENT REPLY
MR. ROBERT WALTER
DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATION,
ABSA BANK OF ENGLAND,
We have this 27th day of july, 2011 received a payment credit instruction
from the Government of UK, to credit your account with your full contract
funds from the UK. Reserve account with our bank.
This is to notify you that your funds have been programmed for immediate
release into your nominated bank account but we cant transfer this fund
direct to your nominated bank account, because we are having a little
problem with International Monetary Fund (IMF) so our method of payment is
by Diplomatic Courier Service.
Be informed that every arrangement regarding your cash payment through
diplomatic services has been made, note that your funds have been packaged
like a consignment. Note that the Diplomatic Agency has to move down to
your Country in order to deliver the Consignment to your doorstep.
You have to help the diplomats to get (yellow Tag Paper)so that the
customs and immigration will not stop them in Airport, for security reason
you are advice to follow the rules and regulation of the diplomats for easy
collection of the consignment, you have to welcome the diplomatic agent, to
enable them deliver the Consignment to you immediately, be informed that as
soon as the diplomats obtain the above name certificate they will deliver
the Consignment to your doorstep.
This consignment have been registered with FBI and there is no course for
alarm because this is the best way that you can get your fund without any
problem due to the numerous scam activities on the internet, it is not safe
to see one bank information anymore, so that is while we choose this method
to effect your contract payment through a consignment and you are advice to
provide all information so that there will be no further delay in your
We are sorry for the delays in your contract payment please bear with us.
However, you are to reconfirm to us the following information so that the
consignment does not go to the wrong person.
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your Complete Address: _______________________
Name of City of Residence: ____________________
Direct Telephone Number: ______________________
Mobile Number: ________________________________
SCAN COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY PROOF________________
Nearest airport: _____________________________.
Note that as soon as the diplomat arrive to your country they will give
you a call immediately to enable you help them to get a (yellow tag
paper).Also all documents will be released to you to protect you from any
breach of the law.
Note that this payment will commence immediately I receive your
Information. The total amount is $4.5m us dollar
This is to remind you that they has a transit in Addis Ababa and finally to Arrive at your Country as the last destination on their diplomatic travel route information.
Send your reply to:
Yours in service,
MR. ROBERT WALTER
DIRECTOR OF INVESTIGATION,
ABSA BANK OF ENGLAND