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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "diplomatic delivery"
- "diplomatic immunity"
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "bank charges " (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. )
- "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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "cotonou" (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: "MRS SANDRA OSJI" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2010 15:33:40 +0200
Subject: THE DIPLOMAT WILL BE COMING WITH THE CONSIGNMENT TO YOUR COUNTRY!!!
Dear Friend ,
How are you? For this chance will permit me to go into business
relationship with you, since I have made up my mind to make this
transaction with you. My name is MRS SANDRA OSJI 43 years old the wife of
Late Benjamin Okon OSJI who was a Cocoa and Gold marchant in Cotonou
Republic of Benin and i have only one child His name is KENNETH.
I have some good funds ($5M US.DOLLARS) for investment in your country as
we will need your expertise idea in investing if you have. Please do not
worry because i have gotten a way after much suffering to do bank transfer
transaction. This method will not border you or me, I have gotten the way
out to bring the funds in a consignment packaging to you in your Country
your country as my partner through diplomatic delivery proccess.
But you will contact my lawyer BARRISTER JOHN EZEIFE ,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone 00229 97 03 13 37 for him conclude all the
documentations on legalisation concerning the fund transfer to your name
and i want us to use a good diplomatic delivery process in transfering the
funds to you which will carry diplomatic immunity tag covering it because
bank to bank transfer is too much problematics and lot of Government
restrictions and charges that will cost so much money and much delay.
Contact me and the my lawyer with your full details and the lawyer will
finished the legalisations and every other legal logistics involved within
the next three or four days. The diplomat will be coming to you within the
next four or five days after the lawyer have finished the lagal aspect of
the transaction. Please be advised and take note of that i have discussed
with the Finance Company Directors and they have accepted to help me with
this Diplomatic delivery process.
Make sure you abide on the lawyers instructions because you will be
required to welcome the diplomat in your airport on the arrival to your
country. I will be paying here the shipment fee instead of paying much
more for GOVERNMENT TAXES AND BANK CHARGES if i want the funds to be
transfered through the banking process.
I will secure and do all the payments here to prove to you myself but you
will be required to welcome the diplomats in your local airport for
delivery and collection of the consignment. The Diplomat will deliver the
consignment to your door step if need be before i will instruct you on how
we will deposit the funds to the bank of your choice because i will be
there with you as soon as you receive the consignment containing the funds
for the investment of the funds because you will have 25% of the total
funds for your help and assistance.
Contact me and with your full details information and the lawyer will send
you the comprehensive informations on how you will meet with the diplomat
as soon as he arrivals your country. Please diplomat will be needing your
passport for identification as he coming. Please let me have your full
contact address and phone numbers.
Please confirm and reply this mail.
Regards and God bless,
Mrs Sandra Osji .
PHONE 00229 96 46 70 78