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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- employment director dakar senegal e-mails:email@example.com (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Lisa Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:15:27 -0500
Subject: GOD BLESS YOU,EMAIL ME AS YOU SEND YOUR INFORMATION'S OK
GOD BLESS YOU,EMAIL ME AS YOU SEND YOUR INFORMATION'S OK
Welcome To YMCA Dakar Senegal.
YMCA of Senegal
B P 4152/rue 12 X Bourguiba
May The Peace of God be with you and your family! Amen!
I have receive a Bank Draft Cheque of $300.000.00 US Dollars from The YMCA
Executive Director Mr Neil Nicoll in Washington,DC USA. Bank Draft on your
Names,I want to use this opportunity to let you know that you have been
Compensated with This YMCA Fund since you did not make it to The YMCA
Training Programmes,I went to The International Bank here to confirm if it
will be possible to send to your Bank Account to your country and The Bank
Manager i spoke with make me to understand that is not possible to Transfer
through Bank Account to your country,That your YMCA Compensation money i
am having here is not a Liquid Cash but a Bank Draft written with your
Names,So i can Post it to your House Address as a Consignment through
Courier Service Company e.g DHL or U.P.S Shipping Company immediately
because you have 100% Opportunity to Cash The Money in any Bank of your
choice in your Country because The YMCA Management wrote The bank Draft
Cheque with your Names and is an International Bank Draft.
I will advise you to send to me your Complete Details to be sure am dealing
with The Right Person to avoid any mistake also to enable me Post your YMCA
Bank Draft Cheque to you Via DHL or DHL / UPS Courrier Service on time
before it will expiry due to The Date on The bank Draft Cheque which The
YMCA Management kept on your behalf.
Your Complete Names:................................
Your Telephone Number:..................................
House Address ...........................................
Your International Passport Copy OR National ID CARD........
Make sure you Email me as soon as you send your Complete Details.
I wait for your urgent comply so i can Post Your YMCA Bank Draft Cheque of
$300.000.00 US Dollars to you in your Country OK.
CLARK CRAIG KINGSLEY
YMCA EMPLOYMENT DIRECTOR