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:
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("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. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: "Mr. Robert Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 14:19:22 -0700
Subject: CONTACT SEAWAY COURIER SERVICE FOR YOUR $4.5 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS.
Dear Good Friend,
Good day, How are you today? I am writing to inform you that I have Paid the fee for the delivering charge of your Cheque Bank Draft. And I went to the Bank to confirm if the Cheque has expired or getting near to expire and CEO: Timothy J. Sloan of Wells Fargo Bank told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will expire.
So I told him to cash the $4.5 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid losing this funds. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $4.5 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with Seaway Courier Company, CEO: Timothy J. Sloan of Wells Fargo Bank have to package the sum of $4.5 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to Register the Consignment with Seaway Courier Company. In fact I thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes normally.
As for our agreement with the Seaway Courier Company they promised that your consignment will leave this Country today, But the Director of the Seaway Courier Company said that they need your contacts information's to able them meet up with you immediately the Diplomat Agent arrived to your State.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
ATTN: Mr. Eric Mark
Phone: +1 330 558 1711
EMAIL:( email@example.com )
Please, Send them your contacts information to able them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX. This is what they need from you.
1. YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
Please make sure you send this needed infos to the Director general of Seaway Courier Company Mr. Eric Mark with the address given to you.
Note: The Seaway Courier Company don't know the contents of the Box. I registered it as a BOX of an American cloths. They don't know it contents money. this is to avoid them delaying with the BOX. don't let them know that is money that is in that Box and also be aware that you will pay them for insurance coverage charge before they can proceed for the delivery.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr. Robert Smith.