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:
- 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:
- "anti-terrorist certificate" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- d'oie 03 bp 2147 cotonou tele : +229 98692277 email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) dr. bryon douglas (director) regards. call or sms text (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR. KELLY DON" <"www."@ever.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "MR. KELLY DON" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 09:49:13 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR. KELLY DON TEXT ME NOW!!!
I AM MR. KELLY DON, DIPLOMATIC AGENT DHL COURIER DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC, PLEASE I MISPLACED YOUR ORIGINAL ADDRESS DUE TO THE CUSTOMS /FBI/ CIA AND POLICE SEARCHING AND SCANNING OF THE BOX FOR SECURITY CONSCIOUSNESS THOUGH TO AVOID TERRORIST INVASION INTO THE U.S.A
THEY HAVE CONFIRMED THAT MY MOVEMENT IS CLEAR AND WITHOUT ANY SUSPICIOUS INTENTIONS TO THIS COUNTRY BUT ONLY TO DELIVER THIS BOX TO YOU AND THE DOCUMENTS ARE ALSO UPDATED.
HOWEVER I HAVE JUST CLEARED THE BOX FROM THE CUSTOMS,AND THEY ARE NOW DEMANDING FOR THE CERTIFICATE OF ANTI-TERRORIST CERTIFICATE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CONSIGNMENT DELIVERY PERMIT (ICDP) FROM COUNTRY OF FUNDS ORIGIN OF WHICH I TOLD THEM THAT IT WILL BE FORWARDED TO THEM AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO ENABLE ME COMPLETE YOUR DELIVERY TODAY.
SO PLEASE KINDLY CALL OR TEXT ME WITH MY NUMBER SO THAT YOU WILL DIRECT ME ON HOW TO REACH MY DESTINATION TODAY.
HERE IS MY DIRECT NUMBER (424) 228-9456, DO NOT FAIL TO CALL ME OR TEXT ME ASAP!
AND ALSO, PLEASE, I WANT YOU TO CALL MY DIRECTOR IN BENIN REPUBLIC AND FORWARD YOUR NAME AND YOUR ADDRESS TO HIM TO ENABLE HIM SECURE THE REQUESTED CERTIFICATE IN YOUR NAME AND SEND TO ME IMMEDIATELY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX, SO THAT I WILL PROCEED TO YOUR HOUSE TODAY.
BENIN LOT NO: 23 PATTE
D'OIE 03 BP 2147
TELE : +229 98692277
DR. BRYON DOUGLAS (DIRECTOR)
CALL OR SMS TEXT (424) 228-9456
MR. KELLY DON (DIPLOMATIC AGENT DHL COMPANY)