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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "money gram" (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)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (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.
- MoneyGram money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. Along with Western Union it is a preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "AMBASSADOR W. STUART SYMINGTON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2018 16:26:26 +0100
Subject: ATTN: BENEFICIARY,
U.S AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA
U.S AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA
PLOT 1075 DIPLOMATIC DRIVE
CENTRAL DISTRICT AREA, ABUJA
FROM THE US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA
BE INFORMED THAT I HAVE RESOLVED WITH THE NIGERIA PRESIDENCY TO DELIVER THE SUM OF (USD$15.8M) BEING THE CONTRACT/INHERITANCE FUND PAYMENT.
I SHALL BE COMING TO YOUR STATE FOR AN OFFICIAL MEETING BY NEXT WEEK WITH YOUR CONSIGNMENT CONTAINING THE FUND WHICH HAS BEEN PACKAGED AND
SEALED IN YOUR FAVOR BUT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CUSTOMS BECAUSE IMMUNITY COVERING ME AS AN US AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, I AM A US GOVERNMENT AGENT AND I HAVE THE VETO POWER TO GO THROUGH CUSTOMS
WITHOUT ANY VERIFICATION.I AM SCHEDULED TO HAVE A BRIEF MEETING WITHIN THE SECRETARY OF STATES BY NEXT WEEK.
YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER AND YOUR DELIVERY HOUSE ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BRING THE CONSIGNMENT PACKAGE. YOU HAVE REALLY
PAID SO MUCH AS I WAS MADE TO UNDERSTAND AND THAT IS WHY I PERSONALLY HAVE DECIDED TO INTERVENED AFTER THE G8 MEETING WITH VARIOUS COUNTRY
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY PERSON BECAUSE I SHALL BE BRINGING IT MYSELF AND THERE IS NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
YOUR CONSIGNMENT BOX (USD$15.8M} MUST BE REGISTERED AS AN AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE WITH THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT WHICH STAND AS AN EVIDENCE/AGREEMENT BETWEEN BOTH PARTIES ALSO TO ENABLE ME DEFEAT ALL ODDS AND THE COST OF REGISTERING IT IS $410.00 USD ONLY AND MUST BE PAID IN THE NEXT 50 HOURS VIA MONEY GRAM TRANSFER SO THAT ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENT CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE BEFORE TIME WILL BE AGAINST US.
YOU SHOULD SEND THE FEE IN THE NAME OF THE REGISTRATION OFFICER ( MR. OBED PAUL)WITH THE BELOW INFORMATION THROUGH MONEY GRAM TRANSFER FOR FASTER CONFIRMATION.
RECEIVER'S NAME:....................OBED PAUL
ADDRESS:...................... ........ LAGOS, NIGERIA.
TEXT QUESTION:..................... .. IN GOD?
ANSWER:....................... ....... WE TRUST.
AMOUNT: .............................. USD$ 410.00
SENDER NAME AND ADDRESS.
MY TRIP WILL BE BY MID WEEK AND I EXPECT YOU TO COMPLY BEFORE THEN SO THAT THE DELIVERY CAN BE COMPLETED. IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY, THEN IT WILL
BE YOUR FAULT FOR NOT RECEIVING YOUR CONSIGNMENT PACKAGE.
AS SOON AS YOU SEND THE FEE MAKE SURE YOU SEND ME THE PAYMENT INFORMATION.I SHALL SEND MY FLIGHT SCHEDULE TO YOU.
ACCESS MY WEBSITE AND READ BIOGRAPHY:
AMBASSADOR W. STUART SYMINGTON
U.S AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA.