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 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)
- "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)
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Danny G. Morgan. Phd" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 2016 08:54:25 +0200
Subject: BENEFICIARY OF FUNDS!!
Debts Reconciliation matters.
Unit B1, 50 Bank Street,
London E14 5NS.
Tel: 44 (0) 207 097 1791
D/line 44 (0) 7985467908
CONTINGENCY DEBT SETTLEMENTS THROUGH DIRECT CASH PAYMENTS.
I am the director general in charge of facilitating overdue international payments and also a special adviser on bilateral
payments to the United-Nations. I wish to inform you that the contract/Inheritance panel of the UN, which just concluded its
seating in London has included your details (E-mail Id & Name) among the current beneficiaries of this very 2nd quarter payment of the
I wish to use this medium of communication to inform you that for the time being the (UN) has temporarily suspended payments through bank to
bank transfers or Bank Draft Payments due to numerous petitions received from the IMF and other key financial and security agencies to
the EU Commission bordering on gross irregularities against stakeholder banks for payment error and diversion of innocent
beneficiaries funds to different accounts.
In this regards, I have been obligated to use my good office now to send your approved part-payment in the tune of $7,000,000.00 (Seven
million United States Dollars) only by cash to you via a diplomatic courier to your nearest terminal. Please note that all modalities have
been perfected and your banking arrangements will be secured diplomatically in due course. Our condition is that you agree to
return 15% of the total funds to a charity to be nominated by my group, only after you have received the first instalment.
All you need to do now is to send me the following: Your full name and address where the consignment will be terminated, Telephone number,
your means of identification, either passport or driver's license.Please send your reply via my email address:firstname.lastname@example.org so
that your allocation can be dispatched as soon as possible.
Danny G. Morgan. Phd