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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "monrovia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jah Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 Apr 2016 11:45:50 +0200
Subject: Attention Required
I am a citizen of Liberia the first son of the minister of mines and energy Mr Harry smith who was killed by rebels during the war in Liberia. before my father's death he made me to understand that he deposited some huge amount of money which he made from sale of diamond and gold and give me all relevant document of the consignment which deposited (marked) as family belonging after his death.
I was able to move out from Liberia through the united nation cargo ship, that convene refugee from Monrovia to Accra Ghana, as a refugee. my father left behind physical cash of $3 million which he safely lodged in a security company in Ghana(Accra) ,during his regime in the office.
As am talking to you now the consignment has left Ghana,it was suppose to be delivered to my beneficiary in your country but as soon as the diplomat got to your country he was informed that my foreign beneficiary had a car accident and died instantly, may his soul rest in perfect peace.
And i don't want the diplomat to come back to Ghana with the consignment.I am willing to give you 30% for your assistance from the total $3 million usd. All that is needed to be done is just the change of ownership to your name .
i will be greatful to send you Attachment of copies of pictures which i will explain one after the other.
and also i will send you a attached copy of refugee identity card for you to know me by person,also included is contract bond certificate and you can reach me via my private email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Now permit me to ask you this few questions.
(1) Will you help me as your son ?
(2) will you help me honestly as somebody you have not seen ?
(3) what is going to be your plan for me when the box is delivered to you?.
So please get back to me with the below details as soon as possible so that i can forward your details to the diplomat in your country to deliver to you if only you will take the 30% offered to you.
DIRECT PHONE NUMBER:
PICTURE OF YOURSELF SO THAT I CAN IDENTIFY YOU:
So i await your prompt response,
Thank you and God bless.
Refugee camp 9, Accra Ghana.