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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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: "Mr Musa Bela" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 10:25:11 -0000 (GMT)
Subject: Dear Friend,
I have paid the delivery fee for the consignment box. All the necessary
arrangement of delivering your $2.400.000.00 USD In cash was made with DHL
COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY.
CONTACT DR. MARK DAVID
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF DHL
COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC.
EMAIL:( email@example.com )
Tel: +229 98227331
Send to them your contacts informations as it was mentioned bellow to
enable them locate you
immediately they arrived in your country with your CONSIGNMENT BOX.
Your fullname: _________
livingconutry/ country oregin: __________
Home/office Address: _________
Telephone/ mobileNumber: _________
Yournearest airport: _________
A copy ofyour picture/passport: _________
Note:The DHL COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY don't know the contents of the
Box.They dont know that the box contains money, I register it as a Box of
PRECIOUS VALUABLE; tag no: 0057624. So dont reveal to them what was in the
box or they will delay the box from getting to you.
GOD BLESS YOU,
Mr Musa Bela.