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)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "Barr.Michael Tudon Jr" <"www."@seagreen.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Barr.Michael Tudon Jr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:30:03 +0900 (JST)
Subject: ATTENTION: BENEFICIARY
We wish to inform you that your over due Inheritance compensation fund which we have agreed to pay you in fiscal cash, that the fund is already sealed and packaged with a security proof box the sum of $11.7 million usd, and your package is in Miami International Airport Florida USA, conveyed
by Int'l diplomatic agent Mr.David Touch,he is currently in airport with your consignment.
Quickly contact him with your full information, name, resident address, phone number, name of your nearest airport, for him to locate your home with your package, forward your full information to his Email:email@example.com,
Name:Mr David Touch,Phone:+1(321)3287849.
Text him only for immediate delivery of your package.
Barr.Michael Tudon Jr.