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:
- 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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barr. Tony Wilfred" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 13:18:59 +0900 (KST)
Subject: Contact Diplomat Stansley Adams at Your Airport
This is to inform you that the DIPLOMATIC AGENT conveying the $750.000.00USD
to you as a Consignment box is stranded in your airport and he is waiting for
your direction now. He misplace your address meanwhile, I'm not in Benin
Republic right now so kindly farword your below information to him to avoid
the divertion of your payment.
(1)YOUR FULL ADDRESS (2) YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT (3) FULL NAME (4) PRIVATE TELEPHONE.
Contact him right now because if they return the consignment back again,it
will be hard to ship the payment to you due to the problem we are having to
transfer money out of the Country. NOTE THIS, the diplomat carry out the
delivey as FAMILIES TREASURE so don't let him know that there is
$750.000.00USD inside the box delivering to you. E-mail the above information
to him now and make sure he deliver the consignment to you today.
CONTACT PERSON (MR. STANLEY ADAMS) DHL AGENT.
Don't delay,i will be leaving the state for another 9months caurse so if you
dont hear from the DHL agent or company today then contact Mrs.Rose Zuba the
Ecobank accountant officer by phone calls +229 6693 9181 because she is only
person in the bank that helped me made the deposit with DHL courier company.
Let me know as soon as you receive the consignment to ensure we share the joy
together after the sufferness.
Thanks and God bless.
Barr. Tony Wilfred.