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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- 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)
- you. yours faithful, mr. edward mike note: reply to = firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (Gmail, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Mike Edward" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:59:25 -0700
Subject: Congratulations in advance.
From:The Desk of the Chairman Investigation & Debt settlement Committee
Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN].
Tel:+234 709 8115153.
Attention Benefited Beneficiary,
It was Resolved and Agreed upon that your Inheritance/Contract Funds [UDS$21m] only would be released to you on a special method of payment which
taged "SWIFT CREDIT CARD" or Bank to Bank Wire transfer nor by cash method of payment through a diplomatic delivery by a Diplomat.
You are Advised to Re-confirm this information below.
1. YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS
2. NAME OF YOUR NEXT OF KIN
3. YOUR CELL PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
4. YOUR AGE AND OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF ANY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION drivers license
With the above mention information, we can process and enhance your payment within 48 hours without any further delay.
Call me on this number Tel: +234 709 8115153 for more details.
Congratulations in advance.
Kindly treat as a matter of utmost urgency because delay could be dangerous..
May God bless you.
Mr. Edward Mike
NOTE: REPLY TO = firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com