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:
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "you are advice to " (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR. MIKE BROWN" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 08:34:48 -0800
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary
Good-Morning I am Diplomat Mr. Mike Brown.
How are you doing today?, It's now over 24,HOURS that i have been with
U.S.A Customs where I was arrested that I do not have a delivery
clearance paper at Los Angeles International airport (LAX) California
U.S.A. But I thank God that they have released me today 30TH December
2019,with your package worth the sum of $10.5, Million U.S.A dollars.
So it is this Morning that they released me with your funds. You are
advice to reconfirm to me your delivery details you know i lost them
during when i was dragging your package with some immigration officer
And again you have to pay the sum of $100.00 for the needed CLEARANCE
PAPERS they said that if i did not have it that i will not enter TAXI
or FLIGHT to your home so send the fees to DHL DELIVERY COMPANY Benin
republic where i came from they will get the air way bill asap and
forward to me here and it will not take more than 5/ HRS or 6HRS i
will get to your home once you send the fees of $100.00 only.
Here is the information to send it.
Receivers Name...Latifath Taivimama
Please it is this morning that they have released me and i do not want
to delay any more time here and i will deliver your funds in 5/ hrs or
6 hrs time once you send the fees to the office in charge.Do that fast
so that they can not look over this package to know the contents ok.
DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR. MIKE BROWN.emails:(email@example.com)
Call/Text (213) 370 5714