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:
- 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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: DHS Washington DC <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Peter smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 10:08:21 +0800 (HKT)
Subject: WAITING FOR YOUR QUICK RESPONSE
I am Kevin McAleenan, The new secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland security, appointed by President Donald Trump. Your delayed payment in the tone of US 4,500,000.00 (Four Million, five hundred thousand United States Dollar) that was held by IMF/FBI has been released because this is a new administration. Following the new administration debt settlement policy, we tendered your fund release file for immediate release and shipment to your designated address. In this case, you are expected to reconfirm your Full Name (as stated on your government issued photo ID), Home address, Nearest Airport and your Direct Cell Phone number, for immediate delivery of the consignment box the delivery agent is waiting for your response . These details are needed for proper verification due to fraudulent activities going on around the globe.
Contact him now through his email address: email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you.
The U.S. Department of
Homeland Security Washington DC
300 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20024