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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("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.
Fraud email example:
From: General Babagana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2019 13:23:44 +0100
Subject: CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY PAYMENT
CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY PAYMENT
I am Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd). National Adviser to President
Muhammadu Buhari the president Federal Republic of Nigeria. I decided to
contact you because of the prevailing security report reaching my office
and the intense nature of polity in Nigeria. I Determined To Make Contact
With You As Of The Widespread Refuge Information Reaching My Office And The
Severe Nature Of Guidelines In My Country.
This Is To Enlighten You About Our Arrangement To Send Fund To You Via
Cash Release As It Is The Only System That Will Be Easier For You And
Us, We Are Going To Send Your Contract/ inheritance Part Payment Of 10
Million United States Dollars By Way Of Diplomatic Cash Delivery.
Note:The Money Is Coming On 2 Security Proof Boxes. The Boxes Are
Sealed With Synthetic Nylon That Was Sealed And Padded With Machine.
This Fund Was Brought To Us For Our Local A.F.E.M. Market, But Since
The Money Was Not Used, I Will Use My Position As The National Adviser
to President To Send This Fund To You.
All You Need To Do Now Is To Send To Me Your Full House Address And
Your Identity Such As, International Passport Or Drivers License
Including Your Contact Phone & Fax Numbers For Easy Communication, The
Diplomatic Attached Will Travel With It. He Will Call You Immediately
He Arrives in Your Country Airport. Hope This Is All Right By You? I
Will Enlighten You When The Special Grace Of God Will Airlift The
Note: The Diplomats Do Not Know The Original Contents Of The Boxes.
What I Acknowledged To Them As The Contents Is Sensitive Photographic
Film Material. I Did Not Declare Money To Them Please. If They Call
You And Ask You The Contents Please Tell Them The Same Thing. Send Me
An Email And I?ll Let You Know How Far I Have Gone With The
Please I Need Urgent Reply Because The Boxes Are Scheduled To Be As
Soon As We Hear From You.
Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd).
National Security Adviser to the President
Federal Republic of Nigeria