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:
- "money gram" (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. )
- "mtcn" (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. )
- "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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR JOHN MIKE <"www."@snow.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: MR JOHN MIKE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 21:58:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: INTERPOL POLICE COMMAND CALIFORNIAN CALL OR TEXT US NOW +1
Attention: Sole Beneficiary,
How are you today ? Please this email message is coming to you from Police
Command (INTERPOL) We, office of the international police authority (IPA)
hereby write to inform you that we caught a diplomatic Agent by the name Mr.
Wallace Nelson and Customs Agent Mr.MICHAEL RUBEN at (San Diego
International Airport) here in Californian with a consignment box filled with
United States Dollars.
We are contacting you today to inform you earlier that we discovered your
consignment box sum of $41 Million Dollar from hands of arrested criminals
trying to shift your fund to their helper partner who will share the fund with
After the arrest we touch them and they confessed that the $41 Million Dollar
belongs to you but they wanted to shift it to someone who can help them and
keep it well in Federal Reserve Bank of Californian they also said that they
contacted you several times regarding the fund but you do not complied that's
why they wanted to achieve the fund within their self.
To avoid much delaying, the $41 Million Dollar USD are safety in our treasure
but we will like to hear from you before we will proceed with the delivery to
The best you have to do now is to keep away from U.S Custome Dallas/Fort Worth
International Airport from now till you have your Funds consignment box from us
because there is lot of thing that is happening in the world today Interpol
Police Force, in partnership with the Stars Initiative, is working towards the
recovery and return
of stolen assets.
This project allows Interpol to actively engage national law enforcement bodies
in coordinated efforts to trace, seize, confiscate and return public funds to
Meanwhile, You will pay the total amount of US$105 for issuance of Police
clearance report which is the hindrance for your non receive of your fund and
will be signed by Attorney General and Endorse by our Embassy in Cotonou
The documents will back up the consignment box before the delivery will take
place, I am advising you to be fast in all your action to avoid more problem so
that we should delivering your consignment box within 4 working hours
The delivery of the consignment box will be accompanied by our delegate, Below
is the Interpol Police accountant officer name in Benin republic where you
should send The $105 payment using Money Gram.
Receiver Name......Anthony Anaetu
Lastly. We did this that way to avoid any story with your consignment box
because these gentle men here wanted to shift the funds and for now they are
under our care on which they must serve U.S government Eight months in Jail.
Contact us with the payment of the $105 upon the receipt of this mail if you
wish to receive your fund and stop wasting your hard earn money for Fraud.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation
AGENT. JOHN MIKE.
Newark Liberty International Airport RESIDENT AGENCY
ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONITORY CRIMES DIVISION
FEDERAL INTERPOL POLICE COMMAND CALIFORNIAN
FROM JOHN MIKE