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.
- 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)
- "million united states 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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- this is to inform you that the diplomat conveying your (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Federal Treasury Department <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 18:01:47 +0000
Subject: YOUR PAYMENT OF US$10.5MILLION IS ON THE WAY TO YOUR DESTINATION.
This is to inform you that the diplomat conveying your consignment box with
a valued sum of $10.5 Million United States Dollars misplaced your address
while his was on transit at UK London now he is currently stranded at London
Heathrow Airport. Your are required to reconfirm the following information
below to enable the diplomat board the next flight to meet you on his
arrival at your destination with your consignment box today.
(1)HOME/OFFICE ADDRESS: ________
(2)MOBILE PHONE NUMBER: _______
(3)NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT: _______
(4)A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION: __________
Please do contact the diplomatic agent through the email below with the
above information request.
Contact Person: Diplomat Duncan Brown
He is waiting to hear from you soonest with the information required.
Attached to this mail is the picture of the money in the consignment before
we locked and hand it over to the diplomat to deliver to you.
Please do send me an email as soon as you have forwarded your information to
Dr. Eric Dede Mabiaku