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:
- 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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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 (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Ralph Walker <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2013 18:52:07 +0200
Subject: Welcome to FedEx Express Company LTD head office
Good day to you.
We the board of Directors FedEx Express Company LTD head office
Cotonou,Benin Republic need your attention toward the delivery of your fund
$7.8 Million USD package in cash payment in your name. We writing to inform
you that our diplomatic agent Mr. Terence P. McColley is presently now in
JFK International Airport, Address: Perimeter Road & NW 20th St John F.
Kennedy, New York City 33101, USA with your package box contains your fund
in cash payment and he must deliver the package box to your address
residency immediately you contact him with bellow email address:(
firstname.lastname@example.org) PHONE NO .....7165435149
Send him your full delivery information as we list in this massage to
insured that the delivery
is commerce to your door step without further delay.
Your private phone no:
And attached a copy of id or
MOST important: Try to follow our instruction to enable this fund deliver
to you confidential since we believe that our GOD wish made the new way of
sending your fund is currently in control as our diplomat agent arrive usa
airport without any problem.
God bless you all for attention.
Manager Director FedEx Express Company
Cotonou, Benin Republic Finance Service head office.
PHONE NO .....+229-99223654