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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "western union" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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: "Dr. Paul D Fox" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Dr. Paul D Fox" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 04:45:57 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION AFRICAN HEAD QUARTERS
UNITED NATION ORGANIZATION AFRICAN HEAD QUARTERS
DEBT MANAGEMENT OFFICE
NO.5/8 TOKPA STATE BUILDING
COTONOU BENIN REPUBLIC.
Greetings from the United Nations (UN) Office.
Be informed that during our investigations, we discovered that you were being subjected to strict Bureaucratic Bottlenecks that will make it difficult for you to claim your parcel/Fund. In this way, because we observed that some Courier/Bank keeps this parcel in their office for business agender and that is why we step into ensure that you get your fund this time. We have stopped all illegal operations regarding your fund and we are to monitor your fund just to make sure that your fund will be delivered to you in adherence to normal International Delivery Regulations.
Most of the requirements from these Courier and Bank are not official and not in compliance with International Delivery Regulations so we will ensure that any process that has to be followed is in compliance with the International Delivery Regulations.
We have checked your File NO: BR/227/9005666/00 and everything is completed in your file except that you are yet to secure Clearance from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and equally clear off the safe keeping which your Consignment/ Parcel accumulated.
This requirement accumulation has generated about $275.00 usd but because we have entered into your case the board of trustees has decided to pay over 90% of the fees on your behalf so to make sure you receive your Consignment fund, Therefore you are only required to pay $54.00 USD.
This Clearance is important since you are claiming huge sum of money, it is legally and legitimately required that you secure the Clearance from the (FATF) so that when the fund is delivered to you, it will not be tagged "Money Laundering". Meanwhile In order to secure this clearance, you will need to send the fee with the below
Here is the Payment Informationâs:
Receivers Name: Onyebochi Udenka
Test Question: truth
Test Answer: god
Amount: $54.00 USD
Try your possible best to send the money today so that the delivery of your parcel will commence and you will be rest assure to receive your package within 22 hours express delivery as all the modalities regarding the smooth delivery of your parcel has been putting in place pending when you will send the money. I will advise that you call me with +229-98333967. As soon as you read this mail so that we can talk better on phone.
The report reaching us shows that you have close to $1, million united state worth of package with the respective authority. Guarantee: Our office at London has issued out a certify guarantee for your relax mind since 2nd of July that the consignment will duly be delivered to you once the payment been made,
Remember that you are directly dealing with United Nation which is the highest decision making organization in the world so do not hesitate in sending the payment we understood that you have paid so much money to western union office at Benin sometime last year and some other financial institution so do not complained but quickly copy the name above and go for the payment for a guarantee has been issued out for your relaxed mind.
We await your urgent response to this office so that we can move forward.
My best regards,
Dr. Paul D Fox
Call me at +229-98333967.