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 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:
- "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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: 23 Oct 2018 07:47:53 -0700
Subject: YOUR DIPLOMATIC PACKAGE
I'm Lewis Edward, I have been instructed to notify you of the
availability of a package deposited by your relative (our client)
in your name at the event of demise. We are entrusted and
empowered with diplomatic immunity and status to safe keep
valuable packages and baggage in trust for our reputable clients.
We work in collaboration with top firms and government bodies of
various countries as we have earned a reputation as a service
whose hallmarks in reliability and confidentiality are revered.
Our clienteles also includes international missions, fellow
diplomats as well as embassies of different countries.
A financial security package was deposited by a benefactor whose
identity can not be disclosed due to a binding Non-Disclosure
Agreement, specifically instructing us to contact you in the
event of demise. The Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure
Agreement signed with the benefactor mandates and authorises us
to fully divulge and disclose the benefactor's identity 18 months
after the beneficiary has received the funds. We confirm that
these funds are fully free of any liens or encumbrances and are
clean, clear and non-criminal origin and are available in the
By this notice, you are hereby advised to send your Full Contact
Information as well as the name of the closest airport to your
city in the format stated below. The funds with the
documentations of origin will be brought to your country of
residence by 3 Diplomats. You will be accompanied to your bank
(solely by your request) to deposit the funds in your name with
the documentations of its origin which authenticates the facts
that the funds are clean with no link to terrorism or drugs as
well as exonerates you from any form of investigations and
Kindly ensure that no mistake or error is made in the information
provide below and it should be forwarded in the manner stated
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your cell number:______________________________
Your Complete Address: ________________________________
Name of City of Residence: ____________________
Name of Closest Airport to your city of
I hereby confirm the the information provided above is correct
and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
Congratulations in advance.
Thank you and I sincerely Remain,