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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "the diplomat " ("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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: INTERNATIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATION <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:44:42 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: INTERNATIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES (IPA)
INTERNATIONAL POLICE ASSOCIATION UNITED STATES (IPA)
Region No. 2 Knickerbockers Station
New York City,New York 10002-0804 USA.
The office of the International Police association (IPA) hereby write to inform you that we caught a diplomat, Mrs. Vernon Wallace at John F. Kennedy International airport (JFK) in New York with a consignment box filled with United State Dollars. Based on our interrogation,she was sent by a payment director from Africa (Nigeria) for your delivery. She said that her first transit in the state was at Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International airport Ohio and interrogation is still ongoing. She is in detention until we conclude a proper investigation on how this huge sum of money is yours then she will be released to complete your delivery. Before her release,you are to prove and reassure us that the money you are about to receive is legal by sending the award ownership certificate.
Furthermore,the award Ownership certificate must be secured from the office of the Nigerian Senate President because it is responsible for the issuance of the original copy since it originated from there. Be assured that your funds will be sent safely to you as soon as we receive the certificate.
You are therefore advised to contact Mr. Paul Davidson the sender of the diplomat to assist you secure the certificate if you do not have it.
Below is Mr. Paul Davidson contact
Name: Mr. Paul Davidson
Note: You are given seven (7) working days from today to forward the award ownership certificate for verification purpose and scrutiny. We will contact you again once there is no response after three working days.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.
Mr. Douglas King.
I.P.A Region NO:2
DCP. Douglas H. King