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:
- "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)
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "(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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr John Ben " <"WWW."@fine.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr John Ben " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:34:07 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATM CARD ARRIVAL
NOTE THIS IS YOUR PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442.
I want to acknowledge you that we have finally succeeded in getting your ATM CARD worth's of $7.5million out of (ECOWAS) Economic Community of West African States department with the help of Mr. James George Attorney General of Federal High Court of Justice Benin Republic which act as your foreign Attorney representative here in Benin Republic.
Meanwhile every necessary arrangement has been made successfully with the Agent John Ben for the delivery of your ATM CARD and every document guiding your delivery is well updated so you are advised to reconfirm your full delivery information to the Agent John Ben right now as he is currently at ORLANDO International Airport with your ATM CARD. He has already called me with his number on his arrival 4hours ago.
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information. The Diplomatic agent John Ben does not know that the content of the ATM CARD is $7.5Million and on no circumstances should you let him know the content. The consignments were moved from here as India Cloths, so never allow him to open the box on OK.
He is waiting to hear from you today with the information, So you are advice to reconfirm your full delivery information to the diplomat more you are advice to be very fast as the Agent John Ben has no time to waste due to his flight ticket. So the Information you are required to reconfirm to the Agent John Ben is as Follow.
(1)Your Full Name
(2)Mobile Phone Number
(3)Current Home Address
Kindly contact him and the Contact person,
Name DIPLOMATIC AGENT John Ben
So contact him to deliver your ATM CARD first thing tomorrow morning
possibly today, Make sure the bellow stated codes are identified when
contacting him and the content of the box should not be revealed for his
does not know the content as it's a VIP Delivery dispatched directly from my
office and the director of the Company.
SHIPMENT CODE AWB33XZS
PACKAGE REGISTERED CODE NO XGT442
SECURITY CODE SCTC/2001DHX/567
TRANSACTION CODE 233/CSTC/101/33028
CERTIFICATE DEPOSIT CODE SCT/BUN/XXIV/-78/01
Mr. Dave Kelvin
CALL ME AFTER GOING THROUGH THE EMAIL
email@example.com or contact (408) 809-8656
The Director of UPS
Courier Company Benin Republic.