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:
- "you are required to pay " (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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (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 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister.Don Philip" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 11:02:53 +0100
Subject: CONTACT FEDEX COURIER SERVICE FOR YOUR FUNDS PACKAGE
We have your package consignment worth the sum of $3.5 MILLION USD that
will be deliver to you at the moment as long as you provide all the
required information to FedEx Courier Service before the consignment can be
shipped to your own residential address in your country,Be informed of the
delivery schedule used in bringing your donation award which you obtain
from Billionaire investor Mr. Bernard Arnault and his wife Helene to your
Furthermore,Your email address was among the luckiest consignment that will
be sent through FedEx Express Courier Service as soon as you contact
them,therefore what you have to do right now is to contact the Director of
FedEx Courier Service Department for immediate dispatch to your residential
address.You are required to pay only the delivery fee
Important note, there is one man called Mr James Adam who claims to be your
representative, and who sent a text to our office saying that you sent him
to pay the fee on your behalf as the next-of-kin to claim your fund $3.5
millions USD. Are you aware of this man? If no, kindly contact FedEx
Express Courier Service with the below information for immediate dispatch
to your home,
Contact person:Dr Edward Lynn
E-mail: ( email@example.com )
This are the information required for easy delivery of your package
consignment box valued $3.5 millions united states dollars
1.YOUR FULL NAME______________________
3.YOUR HOME ADDRESS_____________________
4.YOUR HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER_______________
5.YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER___________________
I am hoping that you will be able to use the money wisely and judiciously
over there in your country. Please, you have to do your part to also
alleviate the level of poverty in your region, help as many as you can once
you have this money because that is the main objective of donating this
money to you in the first place. I would like to reassure you of the
legitimacy of this service as we will not be involved in any fraudulent act
and will never be.
Call Dr Edward Lynn on phone Tel:+256-7089-24865 as soon as you send email
to him because your call would facilitate the immediate attention to you
due to his tight delivery schedule.
My Regard to your family
Personal Assistant to
The Billionaire investor