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.
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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:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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)
- "million us dollars" (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 advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2012 17:25:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: Final Notice for the delivery of your 2 consignment boxes
I am commissioner McAllen-Miller the director of international airport Texas United States.
Due to the illegal operations of fraudsters in this country America our council with the united Nation forum has established to help you and other scam victims recover your funds and consignments boxes here in America.
So far now, we have recovered 100 consignment boxes abandoned in our airport ware house and an other 50 consignment boxes apprehended from illegal fake diplomats.
Due to the petitions received by the formal UN boss secretary general-general Kofi Annan from allÂ over the continent in regards to the fraudulent activities going on in America sub-region with theÂ Security's agent and diplomats who has been delaying people's funds and gold hold, consignments andÂ valuables in their custody are demand to be releases to their owners.
I am commissioner McAllen-Miller the director of international airport Texas, McAllen-Miller commissioner of international airport Texas United States for peace keeping, appointed by the new government of (NDC) president professor Vickie Sutton, I have included
Your name into the beneficiary files of scam victims for release of 2 consignment boxes valuable of $95million us dollars and 85kilograms of gold deliver to you from the cargo department of the united nation diplomatic courier service here in Texas United State.
You are therefore advice to submit all your information for onward delivery of your 2 register Consignment boxes deliver to you.
Home or office address.
Direct telephone number/mobile number.
Country of origin.
Please kindly note the below important registration details of your (2) consignment boxes
1. The registration no.............................gil/am/xxx21/0x
2. The batch number of the boxes....................gil/am/xxx54/0x
3. Security code number...........................sfss/am942054/02
4. Serial no.................................0043687/eb.
However you are to complete arrangement by filling the attach -UN Diplomatic delivery/payment verification form, Complete the form immediately and return it to me via email including with the sum of $655 us dollars payment to international airport funds control manager (Mr. Lawrence Rulfs) western Union or money gram Nacogdoches Texas to endorsed the final signatory of the international airport authority for the delivery of your 2 consignment boxes to you in your country with immunity from the united nation diplomatic cargo flight and after the successful delivery of the 2boxes to you then you will have to Compensate me 10% of the funds and most important i have kept secret of the content of the 2 boxes to myself to prevent suspicious of content to the America government and the united nation forum.
Send the $655 through western union to Lawrence Rulfs, Nacogdoches Texas.
Receiverâs name: Lawrence Rulfs
Location address: Nacogdoches Texas
Text question: To whom
Text answer: Lawrence
You are advise to act fast in receipt of this email to you and any further delay will be the pleasure of the Unhrc to use your fund to help the displaced people in Darfur and you are also advice to stop any illegal transaction because we have place our net working on you in any transaction you may likely participant on.
For further negotiation to enhance the completion of this transaction, you will contact the united Nation diplomatic base (U.N.D.B) for delivery of your 2 consignment boxes to you after you complete the payment of $655 us dollars for the endorsement fees for the signatory of the Texas international airportÂ Authority .we need your
Attached to this email is my working identity card, print and keep it for your reference. both the UN Diplomatic delivery/payment verification form, fill the form immediately and return it to me via email including the final signatory of the international airport charges.
the director of international airport TX.