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)
- "a 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 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.
- +447024094723 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "George Padmore" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2010 19:06:15 -0800
I want to bring to your knowledge of a very lucrative business opportunity
that I have. Well I work as an agent that accompanies contractors funds to
be paid to them i have this deal and i won't mind you in it if you promise
to keep optimum confidentiality.
The consignment consists of two boxes, the boxes contains about $20million
all in $100.00 bills this money was accompanied by me to U.S.A and was
handed over to a diplomat .The name of the Diplomat will be given to you as
soon as you indicate your interest. You will Call the diplomat and tell him
that you are calling on behalf of Mr. George Padmore that handed the
consignment to him, Also ask him what and what is needed to clear out this
consignments, bear in mind that he is not aware of the content of the boxes,
it was registered as CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS, you know that this
consignment has been there for the past 2 month where I am looking for a
trust worthy person to get it out.
This money was meant for the contractors that executed their contracts bear
in mind that i am ready to release 40% of the total money to you for your
help; I will be expecting your reply today and also a call on (+44)
7024094723 and please send to me your phone and fax number if interested.
Please direct your reply to my personal mailing address for security
Regards, Mr. George Padmore