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:
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "email@example.com" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "ley" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:02:56 +0100
Subject: Alert update to you,reply ASAP.
This is to inform you that Michael Raynor, the U.S. Ambassador in Benin has intervene on your case due your fund sum of three million dollars Inheritance fund owning you in Africa. they are representing and protect the legal interest of every American,Europe,Arab and Asia on such Transaction. He provides pages on the bilateral relationship between the two Countries as well as on foreign policy,economic affairs,domestic issues,and U.S society and values.The various sections of the Embassy work together as a team to address the goals of the Mission.
We write to inform you of the breaking news of your Inheritance fund which you have been expecting sending money for so longer without a good result up to date from the financial regulatory bodies of this Country, from their report I gathered that your Inheritance fund which was scheduled to have been remitted to your destination point by some corrupt officials with intention of on asking you to pay endless money.However, I went to Benin Republic International Criminal Organization after USA Embassy Board of Directors for investigation,and in their bid to launch a full scale investigation into the saga,they found out that the reason why you were swindled in the past and still not been able to receive your expected fund till date was because you were dealing with the wrong people without involved USA Embassy Representative, unscrupulous elements and impostors that were impersonating.
Everything was settled today and the Ambassador order our bank to pack the whole fund into a consignment box or ATM CARD and ship it to your home address with immediate order.I have made all arrangement with a diplomatic courier company to deliver the package fund to you today and the diplomat will leave here tonight to your destination.Please reconfirm your current home address,direct telephone number so the diplomat will contact you when he arrive your country with the package.Try to honour this message so you will receive the three million united states dollars into your account or atm card.Contact me on My Private Email here; firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Stanley Johnson.
The Fund Control Committee Chairman.