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:
- "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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "DR.MUSA BELL" <WWW.@road.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "DR.MUSA BELL" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 19:58:10 +0900 (JST)
We wish to inform you that the new Delivery agent convey to
consignment box valued the sum of $5.5 Million United States
Dollars of your re-
compensation payment is currently at the Burlington
Vermont . you required to re-confirm to him the
following information below so
that he can deliver your consignment box to you today .
Your Full Name===========
Mobile Phone Number======
Your current Delivery Address=====
Nearest Airport ===========
A Copy of Your I D For Identification=========
Please do contact the Delivery agent with the email below
with the information
Contact Person : Agent Wilfred Barnabas
Email: ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Phone : ( 8026614365 )
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information.
NOTE : The agent does not know that the content of the
consignment box is $5.5
Million United States Dollars and on circumstances should
you let him know the
content. The consignment was moved from here as family
values/ , so never
allow him to open the box.
MANAGING DIRECTOR ECOWAS /DHL COURIER DELIVERY BENIN