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:
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Philip Baliguat" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 00:09:00 -0700
Subject: VERY URGENT NOW
Emirates NBD Bank United Arab Emirates in conjunction with the American Embassy, has come to
agreement to send your funds in consignment worth about $15Million USD
without any further delay and they have did as instructed by the United
Nation, as matter of fact your funds has already arrived in the one of the
airports in your country but the diplomat signaled us that she lost your
contact address as result of security inspection and screening in the
Now, Contact Diplomat Miss. Sarah C. Omar with your full delivery address
and telephone number (917) 979-2286 on this information below so that she can deliver your funds.
Agent Name: Miss. Sarah C. Omar
I advice you urgently now to reconfirm the above following information to
her, So that she can deliver your fund as soon as possible.
Mr. Philip Baliguat