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:
- 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)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024093147 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: Alex morgan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Alex morgan <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 12:18:53 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: UNITED NATIONS (FBI/IMF ASSISTED PROGRAMME)
UNITED NATIONS (FBI/IMF ASSISTED PROGRAMME)
DIRECTORATE OF INTERNATIONAL PAYMENT AND TRANSFERS,
WIRE TRANSFER/AUDIT UNIT Our Ref: WB/NF/UN/XX029
(United Nation) Human Right Activist Dept
On Debts Reconciliation On Foreign Payment Matters,
Unit B1, 50 Bank Street London E14 5NS,
London, United Kingdom.
IRREVOCABLE RELEASE OF YOUR PAYMENT VIA CASH DELIVERY.
I am Mr.Stella Ellis, the newly appointed director general in
charge of approving & releasing all owed yet unpaid foreign payments
and also the special adviser to the United-Nation.
I am delighted to inform you that the contract/Inheritance panel of
the UN, which just concluded itâs seating in London just released your
(E-mail Id & Name) among the currently approved beneficiaries who are
to benefit 100% from this very diplomatic 2nd quarter payment of the
year. This panel was primarily delegated to investigateÂ all genuinely
owed debts and claims as it has been over due.
At this moment, I wish to use this medium of communication to inform
you that for the time being the (UN) has completely stopped further
payment through bank to bank transfer, Atm Card, Bank Draft or Check
Payment due to numerous petitions received from the united states
home-land security, the FBI, IMF and other financial and security
agencies to UK Government against our banks on wrong payment and
diversion of innocent beneficiaries owed funds to a different account.
In this regards, I am going to use my good office now to send your
approved part-payment in the tune of $7,000,000.00 (Seven million
United States Dollars) only by cash to you via a diplomatic courier to
your door step. I will personally secure every needed documents as the
newly appointed lawyer representing the (UN) office here in London.
All these will be done perfectly only on the condition that you will
give me 10% of the funds.
All you need to do now upon your acceptance of my condition, is to
send to me the following: Your full name, Home address where the
consignment will be delivered, Telephone numbers, Your means of
identification, either passport or driver's license.
Please, I need your urgent reply via my email address:
Respectfully Yours in-service,