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:
- 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)
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Mail2washington; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Homeland Security <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 13:24:05 +0100
Subject: The Report
Jeh Charles Johnson.
secretary of the U.S Department
Homeland Security Washington DC.
3801 Nebraska Ave NW, Washington,
DC 20016, United States.
We received a report from ECOWAS that you have an abandoned
consignment/fund worth $7.5 Million in West Africa. I have instructed
ECOWAS and the concerned authorities to bring the consignment box to
our Head office in Washington DC. the consignment will arrive my
office today. I want you to kindly Reconfirm Your Full Name, Current
Home Address, Nearest Airport and your Direct Cell Phone # So that
arrangement can be made for the delivery of the consignment to your
Endeavor to forward your details to our official mail
I wait to hear from you.
Honorable Jeh C. Johnson
secretary of the U.S Department of
Homeland Security Washington DC
3801 Nebraska Ave NW,
Washington, DC 20016,