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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("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.
Fraud email example:
From: "BANK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 01:19:44 -0700
Subject: fund delivery notification.
I am in reference to your outstanding Fund compensation payment sum of US$1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred thousand United State Dollars) approved by HSBC Bank PLC London UK for payment to you as a compensation as one of the previous scam victims.
However, am glad to inform you that your compensation fund has been arranged and approved for payment via Int'l Diplomatic Cash Delivery to your destination through our Bank official delivery agent whom we have confirmed that has arrived in OMAHA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEBRASKA (OIA) were he has a transit for official and final delivery to your destination within 24 hours. Contact FRANCIS CADA on this number at 402-500-0900 and reconfirm your full details to him in other to facilitate your delivery.
Note that you are expected to help our delivery agent obtain the Diplomatic Immunity Clearance from the customs before he will be able to commence to your destination for final delivery to your doorstep. Keep us updated once you are in contact with the delivery agent.
Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank plc