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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "William M.Schoenberg" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 16:05:09 +0530 (IST)
Subject: CONTACT TNT EXPRESS COMPANY FOR YOUR PACKAGE
This is an official notification of a consignment Marked "Personal Effects" Registered on 3rd June 2011 by United Nations licensed diplomat HILARY KALU attached to TNT Express Courier Company Benin branch and It content was said to have your FUND VALUED $2.300.000.00 US Dollars deliver to you through TNT Express Courier Company and they have been waiting for you since to contact them for the immediate delivery of your package to your destination.
However; They have arranged your box for the safekeeping of special and valuable packages and baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy. Please email or fax them your delivery information to enable them make the necessary delivery schedule of your consignment to
Send them the following information;
Your full name____________
Proof of Identification: Passport or driver's License___________
Your Complete Address: ____________
Direct Telephone/ Fax Number _______________
Complete the above information and send it back to them as soon as possible for the immediate delivery of your package,
CONTACT DR RICHARD LANDRY
DIRECTOR TNT COMPANY
Email I.D (email@example.com)
Tel: +229 99 211 482
Thank you and Remain in Bless
Mr William M.Schoenberg
National Coordinator Foreign Payment)