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)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Mark Garten" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 2013 13:04:35 -0400
Subject: Claim your Over Due Compensation Funds.
Claim your Over Due
I am Mr. Mark
Garten secretary to United Nation
General Secretary Ban Ki-moon , a diplomat by profession, this
is to inform you about your compensation
Funds of ($3.5M) that has been brought here in O. R. Tambo International
Airport (IATA: JNB,Gauteng, South Africa From United Nation , owed to various
beneficiaries and Companies across the globe (Asia, Europe, USA, Africa, and
Australia) and Submit the list of the unpaid beneficiaries/companies to the 2
appointed Official delivery service for immediate payment of the fund, which is
to be delivered to you in your house address, please you are hereby informed
consignment will be
delivered to your address.
All we need from you
is your full address of where the delivery will be made to you.
You are advice to
reconfirm your information and how you want your fund Paid to you without
further delay if you are healthy enough to check your Mail.
Below is the
information you are expected to re-confirm,
1. Full Name: ____________________________
2. Address: ______________________________
3. Nationality: ____________Sex___________
4. Age: ____________Date
of Birth: ________
5. Occupation: ___________________________
6. Phone: _______Fax:_____________________
7. State of Origin: _______Country:_______
8. Drivers license: ____________________
9. Copy of Your
To have me conclude
delivery of your compensation Funds of ($3.5M) to you.
Diplomat: Mr. Mark Garten.