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)
- "million united states 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("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. )
- "courier company" (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. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: TNT COURIER SERVICES <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2012 00:03:30 +1200 (NZST)
Subject: Good day My Dear,
Good day My Dear,
How are you today? I am writing to
inform you that I went to the bank to confirm if the Draft Cheque has expired/
getting near to expire and Mr. Mohamed Laborta the Director of Financial Trust
Bank told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will expire.
So I told him to cash your $2.8Million UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to
avoid losing this fund. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering is
The $2.8Million UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY here in Nigeria,Â Mr. Mohamed Laborta the Director of Financial Trust Bank Nigeria have package the sum of $2.8Million in cash for me.Then he also agreed to help me to register the Consignment with the TNT courier company to deliver to youÂ through their service.
DIPLOMATIC Agent. In fact I thank God very much for all the movement IÂ made,everything goes normally. As for our agreement with the TNT courier company, they promised that yourÂ consignment will leave this Country any moment from next week, But the Director of the TNT courier company said that they need your contacts information to enable them meet up with you immediately their Company Diplomat Agent arrived to your Country.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
Tell:(+234)8068 72 8242
EMAIL:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they
arrived in your country with your Consignment BOX.
1.YOUR FULL NAME:______
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS:_____
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER:_____
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE:________
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE:______
Please make sure you send this needed info to the Director General of TNT courierÂ COMPANY DR.HENRY PHILIPÂ with the address given to you..Note. The Diplomat Agent doesnât know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a BOX of an Africa cloth. They don't know it contents money.. This is to avoid any delay with the BOX. Donât let them know that is money that is in that Box
I am waiting for your urgent response. You can even call the Director of DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY with this line: (+234)8068 72 8242
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Rev. Mike Joe