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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 04 Apr 2016 23:00:00 +0100
Subject: World Fund Financial Services Compensation Fund/Payment
I am Mr. Johnson Cole, Head of Operations, UK Financial Services Compensation Fund, London [UK]. Dear friend, I decided to contact you because of the prevailing financial report reaching my office and the intense nature of policy here in London [UK]. We are here to inform you about our plan to send your inheritance funds to you via diplomatic cash delivery system to your address; this system will be easier for you and for us. We are going to send your funds total sum of US$7.5Million to you via Courier delivery services. The two consignment boxes are accompanied with every vital document that covers your funds. Note here that these funds are electronically sealed in 2 security boxes and paddled with machine. I will make use of my position here to release these funds to you. The boxes are coming with a Courier agent who will deliver them to you at your home address after clearing the two consignment packages at the port of entry. All you are required to do here now is to reconfirm below your full detail information to this office to enable us commence immediately with your fund delivery package to your home address asap.
1. Your Full Name: .........
2. Resident Address: .......
3. Age & Sex: ..............
4. Occupation: .............
5. Cell Phone#: ............
6. Country & Origin: .......
7. Scan Copy of ID: ........
8. Current Email Address: ..
Kindly note here that the diplomat does not know the content in these boxes as the content was declared to him as a family inheritance. I have obtained the consignment tag sticker that will be tag on the boxes which shall be dispatch alongside with the security code to enable you access your boxes as soon as the diplomat deliver them to you. The only thing you are require to do here is to make readily available the require fee for the clearance charges at the port of entry when the diplomat arrive your country airport. Kindly reply back to this office and contact us immediately with the above required information for immediate commencement of your delivery packages to your designated home address. Lastly, you are advise to use part of this fund to help the needy and the less privilege around you.
Mr. Johnson Cole,
Head of Service Operation,
UK Financial Services Compensation Fund / Payment
London, United Kingdom [UK].