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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "transfer into your account" (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 courier" ("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. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. ALEXANDER PAULSEN" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 23:07:08 +0100
Subject: PAYMENT CERTIFIED AND APPROVED TO YOU RECENTLY.
TRANS-FINANCE MONITORING AND INTELLIGENCE COMMISSION.
London United Kingdom.
FROM THE DESK OF THE DIRECTOR,
(Funds Clearance Authority & Certification Dept.).
It has come to our notice via our Central Monitoring Computer that a huge
amount of Fund has been credited in your name which been scheduled to be
release to you and is currently floating in the International Banking
Community/Computerized Financial Database.
Be informed that everything is officially set towards ensuring the perfect
remittance of this approved payment. Our utmost priority is to ensure
maximum security of your Funds Remittance and also to protect the movement
of the Fund perfecting its transit successfully into your Bank Account or
through Consignment Fund Delivery via an agreement reached with our
assigned Courier Service.
You are to kindly indicate your choice in receiving your payment in either
Bank to bank transfer into your Account or through Consignment Cash
Delivery to you via your Physical Address with the express services of our
authorized Diplomatic Courier.
Under the stipulated enabling Law of the Government of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland and other Commonwealth States, any huge fund that has
been found in our computer system waiting to be transferred without claims
for a period of 6 months or less, shall be confiscated.
We do hereby ask you to contact to this office immediately for
ratification by forwarding to us all your current information including
your direct telephone numbers and full postal address where your payment
release documents will be send to you in order for us to confirm your
personal receipt of this fund or consider your fund confiscated.
You are advised to re-confirm to us with your current information by
filling this form to avoid unnecessary delay and complication as follows:
(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Full Receiving Address:
(4) Your Mobile or direct Phone numbers:
(7) Marital Status:
We will appreciate your urgent co-operation by forwarding all your current
details through this Email: email@example.com
Your's in Service,
Mr. Alexander Paulsen.
Director: Trans-Finance Monitoring & Intelligence Commission.