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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: BEN MICHAEL <"info."@oak.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "BEN MICHAEL " <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 20:26:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: YOUR ATTENTION IS NEEDED
I'm Diplomatic Agent Sir Ben Michael ; I have been trying to reach you
over four hour Please try as much as you can to reach me via my:Email(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meanwhile you are advice to reconfirm your information to avoid delivery to
the wrong person
1Your Full Name
2Your Delivery Address
3Your Contact Telephone Number
5Your Identification (Passport number or ID Card number)
6Your nearest Airport
Try and reach me via my email so i can proceed to your home and make my
delivery as soon as possible
However, we cannot quote its content to you via email for privacy reasons.
We understand that the content of your package ATM CARD worth $5.800 000 00.00
(Five million eight hundred thousand US Dollars).
Furthermore, be informed that delivery will be made to your doorstep
Please bear in mind that your valid ID CARD must be presented to me on my
arrival before release will be done to you.
To ensure safety please don$B!G(Bt ever mention this transaction to anybody no
matter how close or trusted you think the person might be to you to avoid
jeopardizing this transaction until you have received your ATM CARD.
Diplomat BEN MICHAEL
I.C. Express Courier Company
All rights reserved.?1995-2008 DHL.