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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "the diplomat " ("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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "courier company" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "REV.DR. DOUGLAS MORRISON" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 3 May 2013 23:58:05 +0100
Subject: Attn Package Beneficiary:
Attn Package Beneficiary:
I want to acknowledge you that we have finally succeeded in getting your package worths of $7.5million out of (ECO-WAS) Economic Community of West African States department with the help of Mr. James George Attorney General of Federal High Court of Justice Benin Republic which act as your foreign Attorney representative here in Benin Republic.
Meanwhile every necessary arrangement has been made successfully with the Agent Larry Paulson for the delivery of your Consignment Box and every Document guiding your delivery is well updated so you are advised to reconfirm your full delivery information to the Agent right now as he is currently at Atlanta Georgia International Airport with your Consignment Box. He has already called me with his number on his arrival 4hours ago.
So you are advice to reconfirm your full delivery information to the diplomat and ask him to send you your DHL Airway Bill so as to prove to you that he is currently in your country also ask him to give you his mobile number so as to have easy conversation with him and to enable you give him full direction to get your Consignment Box delivered to you and hand you over your Consignment Box safe and sound, Furthermore you are advice to be very fast as the Agent Larry has no time to waste due to his flight ticket. So the Information you are required to reconfirm to the Agent is as Follow.
(1)Your Full Name=============
(2)Mobile Phone Number======
(3)Current Home Address==== ====
(7)Nearest Airport ==============
(8)Passport/Drivers license ======
Kindly contact him via his email address, Contact person, Name Agent Larry Paulson, Email Address: (email@example.com). So contact him to deliver your consignment box first thing tomorrow morning possibly today, Make sure the bellow stated codes are identified when contacting him and the content of the box should not be revealed for his does not know the content as it's a VIP Delivery dispatched directly from my office and the director of the Company.
SHIPMENT CODE GJK72DWQ
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO OVX950.
SECURITY CODE EYTU/3055WEZ/263/
TRANSACTION CODE 7126/JLFS/7138/17305/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE MCBS/PQLE/2-6/41
REV.DR. DOUGLAS MORRISON
CALL ME AFTER GOING THROUGH THE EMAIL +229-9829-2333
The Director of DHL Courier Company Benin Republic.