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:
- "the 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)
- "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)
- "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. )
- "(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: "BEN S. BERNANKE" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 19:26:41 +0700 (ICT)
Subject: **CONTACT DIPLOMATIC AGENT WITH YOUR DELIVERY ADRESS**
I WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGED YOU THAT WE HAVE FINALLY SUCCEEDED IN GETTING YOUR
PACKAGE WORTH OF 7.2MILLION EURO 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, SO EVERY NECESSARY
ARRANGEMENT HAS BEEN MADE SUCCESSFULLY WITH THE AGENT. THE CONSIGNMENT BOX
AND EVERY DOCUMENTS GUIDING YOUR DELIVERY IS WELL UPDATED SO YOU ARE
ADVICE TO RECONFIRM YOUR FULL DELIVERY INFORMATION TO THE AGENT RIGHT NOW
AS HE IS CURRENTLY AT JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITH YOUR
CONSIGNMENT BOX, AS HE CALLED ME THIS MORNING TO INFORM ME THAT HE
MISPLACED YOUR DELIVERY ADDRESS WHICH HE HAS DUE TO CUSTOMS IN JOHN F.
KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND POLICE SEARCHING AND SCANNING ON THE BOX
AS IF HE IS A TERRORIST THERE IN YOUR COUNTRY BUT FINALLY I THANK GOD THAT
THEY HAVE CONFIRMED THAT HIS MOVEMENT IS CLEAR AND GENIE WITH OUT ANY
SO THE INFORMATION YOU ARE REQUIRED TO RECONFIRM TO THE AGENT IS AS FOLLOW.
(1)YOUR FULL NAME=============
(2)MOBILE PHONE NUMBER======
(3)CURRENT HOME ADDRESS= =======
(4)FAX NUMBER= ===============
(7)NEAREST AIRPORT = =============
(8)A COPY OF YOUR I D FOR IDENTIFICATION.
BECAUSE OF THE SEARCHING AND SCANNING OF THE CONSIGNMENT WHICH MADE HIM TO
MISPLACE YOUR ADDRESS SO CONTACT HIM VIA HIS EMAIL ADDRESS.
NAME AGENT: THOMAS NELSON
EMAIL ADDRESS: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SO CONTACT HIM TO DELIVER YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX FIRST THING TOMORROW
MORNING POSSIBLY TODAY, SO GET BACK TO US IMMEDIATELY YOU CONTACT THE
AGENT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR FUND HAS GETTING TO YOU WITHOUT ANY HITCH,
FURTHERMORE REMEMBER THE AGENT DELIVERING THE CONSIGNMENT BOX DOES NOT
KNOW THE CONTENT OF THAT CONSIGNMENT BOX IS MONEY, BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY
WHICH REPRESENTED YOU AT (ECOWAS) REGISTERED IT AS A FAMILY VALUE TO AVOID
HITCH DURING THE DELIVERY SO UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU LET HIM KNOW
THE CONTENT OF THAT CONSIGNMENT BOX IS 7.2MILLION EURO TO AVOID LOST OF
YOUR FUND AS YOUR CONSIGNMENT WAS SIGN AND STAMP BY FEDERAL MINISTRY OF
JUSTICE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS PROTECTED UNTIL IT GETS TO YOU.
PLEASE YOU ARE TO CALL @ +22998409986
BEN S. BERNANKE