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:
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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 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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "prueba" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:07:59 -0400
Subject: Urgent call 607)241-6988
I'm Diplomatic Agent Mr Seay William; I have been trying to reach you on your
telephone about an hour now just to inform you about my successful arrival in
Kennedy JFK International Airport New York NY,with your two boxes of
consignment worth $3. Million Dollars which I have been instructed by ECOWAS
COMPANY to be delivered to you. The Airport authority demanded for all the
legal back up papers to prove to them that the fund is no way related with
drug nor fraud
money, I have presented the papers I handed to them and they are very much
pleased with the papers I presented but the only thing that is still keeping
me here is the
airport delivery Tag which is not placed on the boxes, one of the Airport
Authority has advise that we get the delivery tag so that I can exit the
and make my delivery successful .I try to reason with them and they stated the
delivery tag will cost us just $150 Dollars only to get the two tag placed on
as that tag will enable me
Please try as much as you can to reach me on Phone below 607)241-6988 as I can
not afford to spend more time here due to other delivery I have to take care
Bangkok.You can direct the tag fee to our Head Office as they will get it here
for you and they are entitled to receive and make any payment to foreign
authority. Email me with below information to enable me know your arrangement
for the $150. EMAIL.[email@example.com]
Below is the informatoon where the payment of $150 will be transfer to Federal
Ministry of Finnace Nigeria where the Tag Deliver will be issue in your name.
RCEIVER NAME....MR BASIL MBANEFOR
ADDRESS: 4TH AVE.GLASS BUILDING FST.
ZIP CODE: ............234
TEXT QUESTION:::::WHAT FOR
ANSWER:: :::: SERVICES
SENDER NAME MTCN
After sending the payment to Our Head Office in Nigerian ups email me with
the payment information such as mtcn number also senders name text question
and answer to
enable me to reach them with the payment details so they can get the tags
obtain and Fax it to me one hand so i can make my next step to your address
today due to the
force of nature tags of the boxes is my only delay now .Here Is Your Package
Unlock CODE(AWB33XZS for undisclosed shipment content as a diplomatic delivery.
Diplomat Mr Seay William
Urgent call 607)241-6988