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)
- "courier service" (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.
- +447035904585 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2012 08:28:03 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT.
WORLD FUND DISCOVERY MANAGEMENT AND PAYMENT.
I am Dr. Mark White Director of World Fund Financial Management and
Payment Bureau. I decided to contact you because of the prevailing
financial report reaching my office in London Uk. This is to inform you
about our plan to send your fund to you via diplomatic cash delivery, this
system will be easier for you and for us. We are going to send your funds
total sum of US$7.3Million to you via courier service. The package is
accompany with every documents that covers this funds. Note that this fund
is coming in 2 security proof boxes which are sealed with Synthetic nylon
seal and padded with machine. I will use my position to release this fund
to you. The boxes are coming with a Courier agent who will deliver them to
you at your home address after clearing the package at the airport.
All you are require to do now is to reconfirm the following information.
1. Name in full: _________
2. Address: ______________
3. Age & Sex: ____________
4. Occupation: ___________
5. Cell Phone#: __________
6. State of Origin: ______
7. Country: ______________
8. Scan Copy of Identity__
9.Email Address: _________
Note: The Agent does not know the content in these boxes, the content was
declared to him as Sensitive Photographic Film Materials. I have obtained
the tag that will be tagged on the boxes which I will dispatch along with
the security inner Keys of the consignment package to enable you access
them as soon as they are delivered to you.
Reply to this email: email@example.com
Dr. Mark White