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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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 courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- 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: AGENT MR TERRY WHITE <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 04:44:41 +0530 (IST)
Subject: ATTN, DEAR,PLEASE DE CONTACT THE DIPLOMATIC AGENT
I am DIPLOMATIC MR TERRY WHITE I have been trying to reach you on your telephone about an hour now just to inform you about my successful arrival in Los Angeles International Airport. Address: One World Way. City: Los Angeles CA, (US) with your two boxes of consignment worth $1.4million usa dollars which I have been instructed by UPS DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE to be delivered to you. The Airport authority demanded for all the legal back up to prove to them that the fund is no way related with drug nor fraud money,
I have presented the papers I handed to them and they are very much pleased with the papers I presented but the only thing that is still keeping me here is the airport delivery Tag which is not placed on the boxes, one of the Airport Authority has advise that we get the delivery tag so that I can exit the airport immediately and make my delivery successful .I try to reason with them and they stated the delivery tag will cost us just $93 Dollars only to get the two tags placed on the boxes as that tag will enable me get to your house successfully without any interference,they scanned the boxes and found out that the fund is 100 % spend able and accepted by any bank in the whole world.
as I can not afford to spend more time here due to other delivery I have to take care of in Bank ok. Here are the papers backing the funds together with my ID CARD as I can accompany you to your bank were you will deposit the fund successfully with these papers. I have i more vital paper with me but I can only present you the hard copy when I reach your house as that it is the diplomatic rules, such as authorization to deliver.
You can direct the tag fee to our Head Office in Benin Republic UPS as they will get the tags here for you and they are entitled to receive and make any payment to foreign countries authority. DIPLOMATIC MR TERRY WHITE Here is my cell phone to contact me.((559-372-6901) clicks here to know the area where I am at http://www.visitingdc.com/airports/lax-airport-address.asp So you have to contact me with this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
RCEIVER NAME....MR.UBA SAMUEL,
COUNTRY .......... BENIN REPUBLIC
CITY ....................... COTONOU
TEXT QUESTION ........ A
TEXT ANSWERE ........ B
after sending the payment to Our Head Office in Benin Repulic UPS email me the payment information such as mtcn number also senders name text question and answer to enable me reach them with the payment details so they can get the tags obtain and Fax it to me one hand so i can make my next step to your address today due to the Yellow Tags of the boxes is my only delay now .
(Here Is Your Package Unlocking CODE(AWB33XZS)
Urgent Response is needed because here is very busy and hot
Email me :(email@example.com)
DIPLOMATIC MR TERRY WHITE