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:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "INTERPOL NYC" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2019 23:53:38 +0200
Subject: Confirmation required on package delivery.
Region No. 2 Knickerbockers Station
New York City, New York 10002-0804 USA.
The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, writes to inform you that Mrs.
Christine Powell has been arrested in JFK International airport with your consignment box of funds, Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$5.5M). Base on interrogation, she was sent by a payment director from Africa for your delivery. She is in detention right now and can only be release to finalize your delivery as soon as
Investigation is concluded.
You are strongly advised to proof the legitimacy of your funds by sending the award ownership certificate issued by the Senate president before your funds will be delivered to you safely. However, should in case you don't have it, David Beke is the sender of the diplomat and we advise that you contact him immediately for assistance.
His contact is
Name: David Beke
Note: You are given seven (7) working days to forward the certificate for verification purpose and scrutiny. Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.
Dr. Douglas H. King
International Criminal Police