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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact the diplomat" ("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 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.
Fraud email example:
From: FEDEX COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: FEDEX COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 18:16:58 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX HAS ARRIVED
We wish to inform you that the diplomatic agent conveying your consignment box valued the sum of Four Million Five Hundred Thousand ($4.5 Million) United States Dollars is currently stranded at one of the Airports in your Country. We required you to reconfirm the following information below so that he can deliver your consignment box to you today.
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:========
COMPANY REGISTRATION NO: EG58945
CODE NUMBER: 0140479
Also make sure that you forward your Code Number and Company Registration number to him because it is very importantly to enable him locate your Package. Please do contact the diplomatic agent with cell phone number and email address.
NOTE: Diplomat Dennis Young does not know that the content of the consignment box is $4.5 Million United States Dollars and on no circumstances should you let him know the content. The consignments were moved from here as African Cloths, so never allow him to open the box on till itâs delivered to you.
Dr. Stanley Obum
FEDEX COURIER COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC