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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "money gram" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "Federal Bureau of Investigation" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:27:30 -0500
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary,
from: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Dept: Anti-Terrorist & Monetary Crimes Division
Office: Washington, D.C. Headquarters
Address: J. Edgar Hoover Building 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
This is an official advice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and it is only for SCAM VICTIMS. It has come to our notice that the Bank of America has a
huge amount of money worth $10.5 Million United State Dollars in your name and to be transfer to your account but we the F.B.I need a proper verification
document called Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) to prove you are the beneficiary and to start the transfer of your fund to your account.
We have decided to contact you directly to acquire the proper verifications and proof from you to show that you are the rightful person to receive this fund.
We want to make sure its a clean and legal money you are about to receive before we can instruct the Bank to transfer your fund to your account. So you are
advice to forward us the "Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer" (DIST), if you have it in your position to verify that the money you are about to receive is
legal and legitimate.
Note if you dont have these documents as required, you are advise to contact Mr. Ronke Phillips, the person in charge in getting your said document called
"Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer" (DIST), for your immediate fund transfer to your Personal Bank Account. Also we have confirmed that the amount
required to procure your document which is called the Diplomatic Immunity Seal of Transfer (DIST) will cost you a total sum of $1,620USD. You are advise to
mail Mr. Ronke Phillips with his contact information give below and request for the payment information on how you can make the available payment ready via
Western Union or Money Gram so he can get your D.I.S.T Document procured by your name, for immediate transfer of your fund to your personal bank account.
Contact him with his information's given below;
Name: Mr. Ronke Phillips
Tel: (443) 760-3026
You should also contact Mr. Ronke Phillips with the required details regarding the transfer of your fund to your own personal Bank Account and only with the
following requirement to get your D.I.S.T Document procured by your name with the information's needed below;
WARNING: We have requested for the D.I.S.T Document to make available the most complete and updated records possible for the enhancement of public safety,
welfare and security of society while recognizing the importance of individual privacy rights. Failure to produce the above requirement to us, legal action
will be taken immediately by arresting and detaining you. You shall be tried and if found guilty, you will be jailed as terrorism, drug trafficking and money
laundering is a serious problem in our community today. We the F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulge in
this criminal act. You're advised to keep us posted with the requirement to enable us follow up with the release of your fund transfer immediately to your
own personal Bank Account.
Federal Bureau Investigation.
Robert S. Mueller III,