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)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Economic Control Authority <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 16:57:15 +0300
Subject: Economic Controller Authority Your US$8.500,000. 00
Hello attention please,
I am Secretary-Elizabeth Bill Economic Control Authority (WAECA). I
wish to inform you that we have cashed your Draft/cheque in worth of
Eight Million Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars ($8.500,000
USD) for your overdue payments, due to the expiry date in the cheque I
boxed the money and deposited it for Shipment with American Express
Courier Service Ltd (AEC) so to deliver the box to you and to avoid
another hoax as you were disappointed in the past.
So you?re required to contact the American Express Courier Service Ltd
(AEC) With your delivery address and your telephone numbers so that
they will commence immediately with the delivery of your consignment
box to your nominated address.
Bellow is their contact details:
America Express Courier Service Ltd
Lot No. 23 Patte D'Oie
03 BP 2147
Contact person Mr. Maxwell Landry director
Tel: +229 9876 8208
Fax: (229) 876 810
Try to indicate all this codes to them because it will prove that you
are the rightful person that owns the consignment box deposited in
Shipment code: AWL33XZL
Package registered code: XGT442.
Security code ST/2001AME/567/.
Transaction code 233/AME/101/33028/.
Certificate deposite code; SCAN/AME/CUSR/78/01.
Note; The America Express Courier Service Ltd do not know the contents
of your box; I registered it as a box of ''scientific apparatus'' they
does not Know the true content is us$8.5million. This is to avoid them
from delaying with the box.Again do not disclose the content of the box.
Please make sure you send this needed information to the director of
America Express Courier Service Ltd Mr.Maxwell Landry with the e-mail
address given to you. So contact America Express Courier Service Ltd
today and try to contact them with your personal information as listed
With my regards
Economic Control Authority (WAECA).
Secretary-Elizabeth D Bill (WAECA):