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:
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +22545491697 (Cote d'Ivoire, probably a prepaid mobile phone)
- 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: "DR MICHEAL OWEN" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 2009 12:00:54 -0000
Subject: CONTACT DIPLOMAT YOUR FUNDS IS NOW IN USA
Excel Securities Company
Abidjan Plateau R?publique de C?te d'Ivoire
01 BP 1874 Abidjan 01, C?te d'Ivoire
Contact Person: Dr Michael Owen (Director)
Phone: +225 45491697
Hello how are you doing today. I wanted you to know that the funds was released
from Nigeria and now in ATLANTA Georgia. It was carried by our diplomat Mr. George Landry And
the funds is now in ATLANTA Georgia in USA at the present time. The funds are now
lying with the diplomat who brought the funds from Nigeria to ATLANTA Georgia. The
diplomat doesnt know the content of what is in the consignment he brought to
USA. On the documents that were given out to him he was told the consignment
contains industrial items and documents. So please do not let him know the
content of the consigment. Till its delivered to you and opened by you. You will
be given the passcode to open the consignment box as soon as we comfirm its had
been delivered and signed by you.
When contacting him dont let him know that the consignment contains
Money, which he had brought to USA.
You will be contacting the diplomat for the delivery of the consignment to you.
Below its his contact informations. You give him a call and let him know your
location so that the consignment can be delivered to you.
You also send to him your contact phone number and address with the below email.
Name: Mr. George Landry
When contact him you send him your address and phone number You give him a call.
Its important you give him a call. If you have any Question you can only reach
me on +225 45491697 or send me an email on email@example.com
Dr Michael Owen (Director)