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:
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "his direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "(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 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: DHL <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 19:05:07 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Contact Diplomat Morgan James(205) 299-5486.
Attn Package Beneficiary:
I want to acknowledge you that we have finally succeeded
in getting your package worth¡¯s of $4.5million out of (ECOWAS) Economic
Community of West African States department with the help of Mr. James George
Attorney General of Federal High Court of Justice Benin Republic which act as
your foreign Attorney representative here in Benin Republic.
Meanwhile every necessary arrangement has been made
successfully with the Agent Morgan James for the delivery of your Consignment
Box and every Document guiding your delivery is well updated so you are advised
to reconfirm your full delivery information to the Agent right now as he is
currently at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (IATA: BHM, ICAO:
KBHM, FAA LID: BHM) with your Consignment Box. He has already called me with his
number on his arrival 4hours ago.
He is waiting to hear from you today with the
So you are advice to reconfirm your full delivery
information to the diplomat and ask him to send you the DHL Airway Bill so as to
prove to you that he is currently in your country also ask him to give you his
mobile number so as to have easy conversation with him and to enable you give
him full direction to get your Consignment Box delivered to you and hand you
over your Consignment Box safe and sound, Furthermore you are advice to be very
fast as the Agent Morgan James has no time to waste due to his flight ticket. So
the Information you are required to reconfirm to the Agent is as Follow.
(2)Mobile Phone Number======
(3)Current Home Address====
(8)Passport/Drivers license ======
Kindly contact him via his email address, Contact
person, Name Agent Morgan James Email Address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ths is his direct line mobile phone number (205) 299-5486 So contact him to
deliver your consignment box first thing tomorrow morning possibly today, Make
sure the bellow stated codes are identified when contacting him and the content
of the box should not be revealed for his does not know the content as it's a
VIP Delivery dispatched directly from my office and the director of the
SHIPMENT CODE GJK72DWQ
REGISTERED CODE NO OVX950.
SECURITY CODE EYTU/3055WEZ/263/
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE MCBS/PQLE/2-6/41
CALL ME AFTER GOING THROUGH THE EMAIL +229-9938-6874
of DHL Courier Company Benin Republic