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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "million united states dollars" (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 agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact the diplomat" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: diplomatesam songatey <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 10:31:35 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Invitation: New EventYOUR URGENT ATTENTION CALL 716 804 8713
YAHOO CALENDAR - YOU'RE INVITED!
email@example.com has sent an invitation:
New EventYOUR URGENT ATTENTION CALL 716 804 8713
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 10:30a - 11:30a (GMT+01.00) Paris
YOUR URGENT ATTENTION CALL 716 804 8713
Attn: Your Consignment Box of $4.8Million United States
Dollars we wish to
inform you that the diplomatic agent
consignment box valued the sum of $4.8 Million United
currently stranded at your International
airport now. We required you to reconfirm the following
information below so
that he can deliver your consignment box to you today.
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:========
A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION :===============
COMPANY REGISTRATION NO :EG58945
CODE NUMBER: 0140479
also make sure that you forward your Code Number and
to him because it is very important
to enable him locate your package. Please do contact the
diplomatic agent with
the email below with the information
Contact Person : Mr.SAMSON GATE
Email ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Tel 716 804 8713
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information,
NOTE: The Diplomatic agent does not know that the content
box is $4.8Million United States
Dollars and on no
circumstances should you let him know the content. The
consignments was moved
from here as African Cloths, so never
allow him to open the box on till its delivered to you.
Mr: john terry
FEDEX Courier Company Benin Republic