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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- "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. )
- "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)
- "united state of america" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR MARK TERRY <email@example.com>
Reply-To: MR MARK TERRY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 May 2018 15:50:59 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgent Attention Beneficiary
GOOD DAY MY DEAR.
I AM DIPLOMATIC AGENT MR. MARK TERRY, PLEASE MY DEAR WHAT IS GOING ON? WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW I HAVE BEEN MAILING YOU SINCE AND YOU DON'T REPLY BACK, WELL IF WHAT AM HEARING IS NOT TRUTH KINDLY GET BACK TO ME VERY URGENT TO THIS EMAIL, WE HAVE A CRUCIAL SITUATION HERE IN AIRPORT.
PLEASE I NEED TO KNOW THE TRUTH BEFORE HANDING OVER YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX TO THEM FOR ME TO GO BACK TO MY COUNTRY, THE SITUATION HERE IN THIS AIRPORT IS THAT SOME GROUP OF PERSONS IN NUMBER OF TWO UNITED STATE OF AMERICA CAME TO THIS AIRPORT AND TOLD ME THAT YOU HAD AN AUTO-CRASH LAST WEEK AND YOU DIED TWO DAYS AGO THEREAFTER, AND THAT UPON YOUR DEATH,
YOU ASSIGNED THEM TO BE THE NEXT OF KIN OVER YOUR FUNDS AND PROPERTIES, SO PLEASE I AM VERY MUCH CONFUSED HERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO BECAUSE THEY BROUGHT A DEATH CERTIFICATE SIGNED BY A MEDICAL DOCTOR SHOWING THAT YOU ARE DEAD.
THEY ALSO BROUGHT A SIGNED LETTER OF CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP AND APPOINTMENT OF NEXT-OF-KIN OVER YOUR PROPERTIES INCLUDING YOUR FUNDS ON THE CONSIGNMENT BOX THAT ARE WITH ME IN THIS AIRPORT.
THEY SAID THAT YOU EVEN MADE A PROVISION OF THE NEEDED $155.00 USD FOR THEM TO CLEAR ALL THE OUTSTANDING BILL DELAYING THE SMOOTH DELIVERY OF YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX TO YOU IN YOUR HOME, BUT PERSONALLY I NOT WELL CONVINCED THAT YOU ARE DEAD THAT IS WHY I ASKED THEM TO HOLD BACK THE $155.00 AND COME BACK NEXT WEEK SO THAT I WILL DO MY OWN INVESTIGATIONS TO FIND OUT IF YOU ARE DEAD OR ALIVE BECAUSE I AM CONFUSE IF IS TRUTH OKAY.
PRIOR TO THIS DEVELOPMENT I TOLD THEM TO COME BACK FRIDAY THIS WEEK, BUT IN THE MEANWHILE I HAVE REPORTED THIS CASE TO THE AIRPORT POLICE AUTHORITY, SO IF INDEED YOU ARE ALIVE, I WILL WANT YOU TO WRITE ME BACK IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVE THIS EMAIL BEFORE IT WILL BE TOO LATE, TO DECIDE ON HOW TO GET THEM ARREST WITH THE AIRPORT POLICE AUTHORITY WHEN THOSE MEN COMES BACK NEXT WEEK MONDAY.
YOU WRITE ME BACK WITH THE PAYMENT INFORMATION OF THE NEEDED FEE OF $155.00 DOLLARS,YOU CAN SEND THE FEE TO THE BENIN REPUBLIC WHICH IS THE ORIGIN COUNTRY OF THE CONSIGNMENT BOX
RECEIVER NAME ....CHIDO GRAND
COUNTRY......... BENIN REPUBLIC
AMOUNT .......$155.00 USD
FORWARD THE PAYMENT TO ME AND I WILL BE AT YOUR HOUSE WITHIN 8 HOURS AND HAND YOU THE CONSIGNMENT BOX WITH THE DOCUMENTS COVERED YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX WITH USD$12.5M.
KINDLY DO THAT IMMEDIATELY BECAUSE IF YOU FAIL TO DO THAT I WILL ASSUME THAT YOU ARE DEAD AS THEY HAVE CLAIMED, AND HAND OVER YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX OVER TO THEM AND GO BACK TO MY COUNTRY, YOUR NON-COMPLIANCE WILL MEAN THAT ACTUALLY YOU ARE DEAD AS THEY CLAIM AND I WILL NOT HESITATE TO HAND OVER YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX TO THEM AND GO BACK AS THEY HAVE PLEADED TO ME.
I WILL BE WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU TODAY
MR. MARK TERRY
WORLD COURIER DIPLOMATIC AGENT