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:
- "anti-terrorist certificate" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "clearance permit" (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. patrick nelson" <"www."@fork.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr. patrick nelson" <Kellydon210@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 20:37:43 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Hello Beneficiary Greeting to you
Hello please read and understand how you won this fund, wish is $15.5 USD and the fund was registered in our Company DHL DELIVERY COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC, by Coca Cola Group Of Company with statement that you won Coca Cola monthly fund Promo with your email address which they instructed our company to get it delivered to your home address and all other needed paperwork are complete only these two which Is Anti-Terrorist Certificate and International Clearance Permit are not paste on the Box because you the owner of the fund supposed to get it obtain with your name and your signature on it , and that is why the custom officers asked for it.
Meanwhile I know that you cannot be able to get the paperwork obtained by yourself because it has to come directly from the origin country of your fund which is Benin Republic so I called my boss and ask him about the paperwork and he said it will cost you sum of $250 usd only, to get it obtain and forward it to me for immediate delivery of your
agent Patrick elson