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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "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. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: JEH JOHNSON <JEH.JOHNSON96.@ninus.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: JEH JOHNSON <JEH.JOHNSON96@GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2016 10:59:41 +0900 (JST)
Subject: HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT
FROM .. HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT!!
MG Timothy J. Lowenberg,Adjutant General and Director State Military
Department Washington Military Dept., Bldg1 Camp Murry ,Wash 98430-5000 USA
Telephone:(202) 660-4753..... Text Only
This is Mr.jeh Johnson Secretary of Homeland Security department.We know that you have not received Your
fund from Africa! we have finally cash your $4.7million abandoned long-lost cheque confirming to be your own
compensation funds,we cash the money and we decided to boxed the money for avoiding expiry of the cheque
because it has stayed long in our custody searching for your contact to reach you,after our investigation that we
discovered that the money is not an illegal payment. so
kindly reconfirm your full address, You can reach me on this email as well :
Your age/marital status........
Your nearest Airport...........
A copy of Your ID..............
You can call Mr. Hillary C Thomas at : +229-9936-9840 the director of overseas payment of the presidency office
who is in charge to give instruction approval to release the boxed-money consignment to me for onwards
delivering it to you,
Jeh Charles Johnson
SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY