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)
- 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.
- +447035926018 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Morgan Phillips, Esq" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 11:33:54 +0200 (EET)
Subject: 1 New Message, Please Respond Immediately...
>From Morgan Phillips, Esq.
Send Your Response Email To My Private Box: email@example.com
Greetings to you, and I hope this e-mail reached you in the right frame of
mind. Please do not be perplexed with this note because it hasn't reached
you out of carelessness or accidentally but as intended.
A woman named Elizabeth Berlant, though deceased but happened to be my
client died a year 9 months (21 months) ago of cancer. On performing my
legal duty, I had the course of going through her files and documents
where I saw a document stating that she had lodged a total sum of
$26Million in a bank account here in London.
On the documents were Identical name to yours, plus a confirmed detail of
the bank account she opened in the name where she lodged the money. She
planned on transferring the said fund out of the country before her demise
but couldn't help it dying before getting it done. All attempts to locate
her relative has been unsuccessful and after due consultation I've decided
to carry on with the transfer of the fund under a Next of Kin bearing the
same name, here you come in. You'll be receiving the funds on arriving
I've applied for the release/transfer and the management has concurred,
only awaiting the supply of the location and account details to be
furnished for the payment. A diplomatic envoy will transfer the
consignment containing the funds to your region and location for payment
upon signing of the Final Payment Release Fund Order Form which they will
be arriving with to your country.
I need to forward your information to the Bank for the Transfer of the
funds at once, Please outline the details as follows:
Name (Surname First):
Attach an Identification card (International Passport/Drivers License):
I need your assistance in deducting and transferring the funds from the
account before the bank confiscates the funds. I'm prepared to circumvent
all means of confiscation by the Bank. In that regard, you will be fielded
as the next of kin whose name is on the account since it's a complete
replica of the account name.
At the conclusion of this project you will be amply rewarded with a 35% of
the total funds transferred, 60% will be returned back while 5% will be
for the settlement of expenses done during the course of the transfer.
I'm Morgan Phillips, attorney to Late Mrs. Berlant. Thanks for the time
and attention, and hoping to hear from you any sooner.
Please get back to me for further information, processing and remittance
to you; Forward your response to this mail-box: firstname.lastname@example.org
and call me on the mobile number shown below: +447035926018
Morgan Phillips, Esq.