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:
- "demurrages " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "the diplomat " ("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 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: "Bang" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2018 18:33:31 -0700
My name is Mosimi Jacob Banga and I am from Ivory Coast. Presently I live in Accra Ghana with my mother due to the recent political crisis in my country that took the life of my father who was a Politician in my country Ivory Coast. I got your contact from the Refugee camp here in Ghana, and I am contacting you because of my desire to complete my Study, Invest and to buy a Living house in your country. I have One Metallic Trunk Box that is presently in United Kingdom, which supposed to be deliver to our foreign partner Mr. Lambert Major, but due to his greedy attitude, I have to call the Courier Diplomat to stop the delivery.
When my father was alive, he travelled to Accra Ghana to buy gold and to store it on my behalf, because he was not sure of the end of his political live. He succeeded in buying only 20 KG , so he decided to concealed the 20 KG Gold and the balance $7.5 million USD in a trunk box and deposited it in a security company in Accra Ghana on my behalf.My mother and I where allowed by the Security company to inspect the truck box, after which I paid for the demurrages and custom charges and also for the shipment of the trunk box to the United Kingdom or any part of the world. I have paid all charges covering the consignment.
I told Mr. Lambert that I would give him 25% percent of the total amount of $7.5 million United States Dollars in the trunk box. he agreed, but when the box gets to Heathrow Airport in London UK, he called and told me that if he receives the consignments, we have to split the fund and Gold equally, so he will have to take 50%. My mother refused and we ask the Courier Diplomat to stop the delivery to Mr. Lambert Major.Please, help us to receive the trunk box, so that my mother and I can come and live with you so that I can continue my studies and my mother can invest our share in your country. Now the trunk box is at the Heathrow Airport in London. Please get back to me so that I can send you the name and telephone number of the diplomat in London UK.
Waiting for your urgent reply. always contact through this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless you.
Mosimi Jacob Banga.