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:
- 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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mike Kelly <"www."@vega.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mike Kelly <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2017 00:29:42 +0900 (JST)
It is my pleasure to inform you that Diplomatic Agent Mike Kelly has arrive in your
nearest Airport today with your package worthy $4.5million you have to contact
him at this email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and also make
sure that you call him on (501) 406-8318 once you receive this message, remember
to re-confirm your full information unfailingly.
Your Full Name___________________
Mobile Phone Number______________
Current Home Address_____________
A Copy of Your I.D
make sure that you fill all your information immediately, so that he can
deliver the Package worth $4.5 Million successful as he just landed in your
country now don't misplaced your information, he will give you more details
when you re-confirm your details. Your personal code to the box is
XLA21492014SD, and the color is silver. NB indicate this code to the Diplomatic
Agent Terry, so that he can know that you are the rightful owner of the box.