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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "DR COHEN DENILSON" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 03:06:37 +0600
Subject: OFFICE OF THE PAYMASTERGENERAL- CONTACT PRIMER COMPANY
OFFICE OF THE PAYMASTERGENERAL- CONTACT PRIMER COMPANY (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DEPARTMENT OF DEBT PAYMENT ALLOCATION
FOREIGN PAYMENT COMMITEE BOARD
CONTACT PERSON: DR COHEN DENILSON
TEL:+229 9381 7574(DIRECT LINE)
YOUR CHEQUE OF USD$1.2 MILLION USA DOLLARS HAS BEEN PROCESSED BY THIS
OFFICE AND CONSIGNED IN CASH BY THE CENTRAL BANK.THE MONEY IS TRUNKED AND
SECURED WITH MAXIMUM SECURITY AND HAS BEEN GIVEN TO PRIMER DELIVERY
COMPANY SERVICE TO DELIVER TO YOUR DESTINATION IN YOUR COUNTRY.THE TRUNK
BOX SEALED AND CAN ONLY OPEN WITH THE ELECTRONIC CODE THAT SHALL LATER BE
SENT TO YOU BY THE CENTRAL BANK THROUGH THIS OFFICE AS SOON AS YOU CONFIRM
ARRIVAL OF THE CONSIGNMENT IN YOUR COUNTRY.PLEASE FILL THE FORM BELOW AND
SEND TO PRIMER COURIER DELIVERY CARGO SERVICES AS STATED BELOW
Kindly Contact delivery Company with the email address below
ATTENTION: ENG ROBERT MORRIS
PRIMER DELIVERY SERVICES INC
CONTACT PERSON: Eng Robert Morris
E-MAIL : (email@example.com)
Telephone number +229 9884 1916
SHIPMENT CODE: AWB 33X2S
PACKAGE REGISTER CODE NO:XGT442,
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE:STCC/BUN/BC/-78/09
To My Nominated Address :
YOUR FULL NAME...........
ADDRESS IS: ................
beneficiary,i hereby promise and contract that i will be settling all
delivery charges of $50 Usa Dollars with immediate effect as soon as the
courier delivery company notified me when the delivery of my consignment
will take place .
Your name:......................... ............
Kindly call me as soon as you get this mail to confirm reception.
OFFICE OF THE PAYMASTERGENERAL