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.
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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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "NEW-YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2012 15:18:41 +0100
Subject: FROM:NEW-YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT.
NEW-YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT
(Inconjuction with INTERPOL)
Region No. 2 New York City, Knickerbockers Station
New York City, New -York 10002-0804 U.S.A.
Attn: Fund Beneficiary,
The office of the Police hereby write to inform you that we caught a diplomatic lady called Mrs. Doris Lenn at (John F. Kennedy International Airport) here in New -York with parcel box filed with United States dollars.
Meanwhile, base on our interview to the diplomat (Mrs. Doris Lenn) she said that the parcel box belongs to you, that she was sent by Mr. Ahmadu Giade, of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Nigeria, to deliver the parcel box to your doorstep, not knowing that the content of the parcel box is money. The diplomat also said that her first transit in the states was at New york.
Now, the diplomat is under detention in the office of (POLICE) security, and we cannot release her until we carry out our proper investigation on how this huge amount of money managed to be your's, before we can release her with the box. In this regard, you are to re-assure and prove to us that the money you are about to receive is legal by sending us the Award Ownership Certificate showing that the money is CLEAN AND LEGAL.
Note that the Award Ownership Certificate must be secured from the office of the Nigerian Senate,that is the only office that will issue you the original Award Ownership Certificate of the said fund.
You are advised to forward immediately the Award Ownership Certificate if you have it with you, but if you do not have it, we will urge you as a matter of urgency to contact back the sender of the diplomat to help you secure the Award Ownership Certificate if at all you did not have it.
Below is the contact information of the person that sent the diplomat.
Direct telephone no: +234-8032541646.
Furthermore, we are giving you only but 5 working business days to forward the requested Award Ownership Certificate.
Please note that we shall get back to you after the 5 working business days, if you do not come up with the certificate, they would confiscate the fund into World Bank account then charge you for money laundry, but if you forward the Award Ownership Certificate then we will release the diplomat with your parcel box and also gives you every back up till the money arrives your doorstep.
Also note that we are doing this to make sure that any huge amount of money like your's that enters United States is genuine, we regret any inconveniences this might have caused you.
We await you complete compliance.
I.P.A REGION NO: 2.
CC: MR.Ahmadu Giade
CC: FBI (NEW YORK)
CC: HOMELAND SECURITY