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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("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 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: "Mr. Roy Boyd" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:55:22 +0100
Subject: Good News Beneficiary!!
we recently been informed through our Global intelligence monitoring network International Monetary Fund (IMF) investigation bureau UK that you presently having transaction going on with Banks in Africa, Europe and others countries as regards to Your over-due contract, inheritance and lottory payment which was fully endorsed in your favor accordingly but Due to your failure and inability to claim your compensation victim fund, over-due contract, inheritance and lottery payment via special Bank Draft (Check) delivery and ATM card produced and activated by our bank following a mandate given to our bank by IMF and the Central Banks in Africa (CBA) for the purpose of your payment after the stipulated 14 working days, we are left with no other option but to follow the directive of the Government to return the Draft to the Government treasury if you did not respond to the claims this time.
We request that you send to us a letter of attorney signed by your lawyer authorizing us to deactivate this Draft/card and return its monetary value to the coffers of the Government, and that you have not, and will never put forward any claim for the funds subsequently, thereby forfeiting same to the benefit of the Banks, IMF and Federal Government.
Value Card Number: 118531558764907510.
Your Personal Identification Number: 226699.
Your ATM Card Value: $350.000.00USD, while the balance of your fund will be transfer to you as you want via wire transfer or by Diplomatic Courier cash delivery.
Note: Please contact me directly on this email: email@example.com
MR. Roy Boyd,