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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: Dr BEN WILSON <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 19:56:48 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: Contact Person: Dr. Nelson White
We have last month of Aug 2011 received a payment credit instruction from the federal Government of Royal Kingdom of Benin Republic to credit your account with your contract payment which is in the custody of our reserve Bank account here in Benin Republic. This is to notify you that your funds $USD 15.500.000.00 Dollars has been programmed for immediate release into your nominated account but we can not transfer this funds directly 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 Via United Parcel Security Shipping Company.
Be inform that your funds have been package like a consignment box and deposited in the custody of UPS United Parcel Services head office here in Benin Republic for immediate delivery to your house,The reason while UPS is chosen for the delivery is that they are the best shipping company in the world and our government has issued and signed all the necessary document needed to make the delivery safe.
Note: That the UPS United Parcel Services do not know the content of your box it is been registered as a box of Family Valuables Belonging to avoid delaying in delivery of your consignment,The Government of Benin Republic has already paid the official delivery cost and (yellow Tag Paper,insurance) fee it was deducted from the interest your money accumulated in the custody of our Reserve Bank here in Benin Republic before the total sum of $15.500.000.00 USD was packaged as a consignment and sealed as metallic showing that it is not a Drug Money or meant to sponsor Terrorist attack in your Country. They will issue you a tracking numbers of your consignment box.
(UNITED PARCEL SERVICES UPS COOPERATE)
Contact Person: Dr. Nelson White
E-mail : email@example.com
Here is the information needed to deliver your consignment box to you.
Your Full Name=========
Your Complete Address :=======
Name of Country /City of Residence:==========
Direct Home Telephone /Mobile Number:========
copy of your id for identifications if any; =========
Waiting for your immediate respond once you received your parcel.
Dr BEN WILSON