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.
- 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("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: "Mrs. Rosemary Kabila." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Rosemary Kabila." <email@example.com >
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 23:35:11 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello Dear,
From: Mrs. Rosemary Kabila
Letter of Introduction
Peace Be With You.
Hello Dear, It is with heart full of hope that I write to seek for your help. I am Mrs., Rosemary Kabila. A woman of 51 years old resident in Democratic Republic of Congo over 25 years ago, I am the 3Third wife of the Late Congo President, Laurent Kabila who was assassinated few years ago. You may be
Surprise to receive my letter, however, I got your contact from my private search and decided to contact you from my private.
Search and decided to contact you for confidential business. Since the death of my late husband, President Laurent Kabila, there have been incessant hostilities spanning in the family over his WILL. $B!F(BMy only son Magnus and I have been marginalized by other wives and his first son Joseph Kabila who succeeded him as the new president of Democratic Republic of Congo. Perhaps because of my closeness with my late husband as his last and youngest wife or because I am a foreigner.
However, before the death of my husband, Laurent Kabila deposited the sum of US$11.3m (Eleven Million Three Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) in my name
In a security company, until we open communication? I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your account for safe keeping.
I promise to give you 30% of the Total amount after at the end of the transaction and also I will issue you a letter of Authorization that will enable the Security Company to release the box to you. Observe carefully no risk inherent, so I urge you not to underestimate this vision. My only son Magnus and I shall come over immediately the consignment (money) leaves the security company to meet with you in your country.
The diplomatic Courier Company will tag the consignment as personal effect: - As soon as I receive your consent, relevant documents will be prepared in your favor authenticating you as the beneficiary of the consignment. And here is only the email address which you can reach me on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As I counting on your quick respond for more detail information.
Mrs. Rosemary Kabila.