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:
- "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)
- "million united state dollars" (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 dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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:
From: john glover <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 01:13:19 -0700
Subject: Attention Dear Beneficiary
We received a mail from one Mrs.April M WILLIS who presented a
telephone number with a resident address, saying that you gave her the
power of attorney to make your claims of your PACKAGED CONSIGNMENT BOX
CASE Valued of $15 Million United State Dollars.
She further said that you are very sick and hospitalize,so you gave
her the power of attorney to claim your package on your behalf with
this courier company.
Is this information correct? Please get back to this office today, we
wait for your response, We're giving you 48hours to respond back to
us,if we do not hear from you after 48hours, then we will assume her
story is correct and we will have no other option than the courier to
give her the package instead.
Please try to get back to us immediately you get this message before
we instruct her to pay the required charges and have your CONSIGNMENT
BOX CASE released to her immediately. We don't want to make any
mistakes with your fund.
Below is the information she gave to this office instructing the
courier to give her your Package and this the address as stated below.
Name: Mrs. APRIL M WILLIS Address: 827 17th Street, OKC, OK, 73128
Your urgent response will be highly appreciated. Feel free to call our
customer care +229-373-1315 John Williams with this or E-mail us (
firstname.lastname@example.org ) if you have any questions. You are also
advised not to accept any E-mail or a telephone call that does not
come from this office as this is to forestall new efforts towards a
diversion of your payment in the sum of of $15 Million United State
Meanwhile,we want you to re-confirm your personal information below:
(1) Full Name:(2) Country/State:(3) Delivery Address:(4)
Occupation;(5) Sex.(6) Age:(7) Telephone Number:(8) A copy id or
Congratulations in advance.
Best regards,John glover.