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:
- "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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Paul Davidson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2021 23:16:44 +0800
Subject: URGENT REPLY NEED NOW 10/9/2021
No. 2 Knickerbockers Station
New York City, New York 10002-0804 USA.
The International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, writes to inform you that Mrs. Vernon Wallace have been arrested in JFK International airport with your consignment box of funds, Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$5.5M). Base on interrogation, she was sent by a payment director from Africa for your delivery. She is in detention right now and can only be release to finalize your delivery as soon as investigation is concluded.
You are strongly advised to prove the legitimacy of your funds by sending the award ownership certificate issued by the Senate president before your funds will be delivered to you safely. However, should in case you don't have it,Paul Davidson is the sender of the diplomat and we advise that you contact him immediately for assistance.
His contact is
Name: Paul Davidson
Note: You are given seven (7) working days to forward the certificate for verification purpose and scrutiny.
Thanks for your understanding and co-operation.
Dr. Douglas H. King
International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol