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:
- "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)
- "courier service" (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: "Bartholomew" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2019 06:14:44 -0000
Subject: Adhere to this vital
I hope my message does not make you apprehensive as I am contacting you in respect to a mutual business proposal; my name is Bartholomew Wealth, I am the Operations Manager of a Vaults and courier services company. I have been working with this company for over 13 years and within this period, I have watched with a keen interest on how African Heads of state and government functionaries use this company as vehicle to move huge sums of money in cash (Pounds STERLING, EUROS, US$ ETC) to their foreign partners and asset managers overseas.
This individuals lodge cash in the consignments and secretly declare the contents as family treasures and classified documents. These consignments deposited within our vault are after sometime being claimed by their foreign partners, friends and relatives. A lot of them are lying here unclaimed in our storage facility for as much as 9-10 years. Nobody will ever come for them because in most cases, the deposit documents are never available for anybody except the depositors.
I have finalized every arrangement for you to claim a certain consignment with code NO; VDS: 20/21, valued at $7.5 MILLION. The main reason why I have written this mail to you is because no one has applied for the issuance of the release of these trunks as they have laid here for over 9yrs now. In conclusion; I assure you that this business is risk free. (OUR MODE OF SHARING IS 50% FOR YOU AND THE REST 50% for me).
If you are of interest to the proposed deal, please do not hesitate to reply back to me at your earliest convenient time.
Mr. Bartholomew Wealth
C/O Reply to me using this; email@example.com