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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "western union" (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. )
- "money gram" (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. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "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.
- Western Union money transfer is completely untraceable and therefore is *not* safe to use with anyone you do not know personally. It is the preferred method of online criminals to collect money from their victims.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Linda Arthur <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:28:52 +0100
Subject: YOUR CONSIGNMENT
I, REV SCHEDRACK JOHNSON, THE GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE
OFFICER, ECO BANK PLC THE ONLY BANK APPOINTED BY THE O.A.U MEMBERS LED BY
PRIME MINISTER HAILEMARIAM DESALEGN.(INCUMBENT).BECAUSE OF THE FRAUD GOING
ON IN WEST AFRICA COUNTRIES WHERE SOME INNOCENT BENEFICIARIES WERE ASK TO
PAY IN ADVANCE BEFORE RECEIVING THE MONEY OWED TO THEM. THE ABOVE AFRICAN
UNION HELD MEETING IN BENIN REPUBLIC AND RESOLVE TO PAY ALL BENEFICIARIES
IN CASH THROUGH DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE.WE RECEIVE YOUR FILES FROM
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (I.M.F) AS ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES.
TAKE NOTE; TEN THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS (US$10,000) HAVE BEEN MAPPED
OUT FOR ALL EXPENSES IN SENDING THE MONEY TO YOU THROUGH GENUINE DIPLOMATIC
COURIER SERVICE AND YOU WILL RECEIVE THE STATEMENT OF HOW IT WAS SPENT .
THEREFORE, I WANT YOU TO BEAR IT IN MIND THAT YOUR TOTAL FUND WILL NO
LONGER BE ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS
($1,500,000.00) BUT ONE MILLION FOUR HUNDRED AND NINETY THOUSAND UNITED
STATE DOLLARS ($1,490,000.00).
IF ANY BODY TELLS YOU THAT HE IS PAYING YOU IN BANK DRAFT OR TELE-GRAFIC
MONEY TRANSFER OR WESTERN UNION/MONEY GRAM, DO NOT LISTEN TO HIM OR HER
BECAUSE DUE TO THIS FRAUD NO INTERNATIONAL BANK HONOURS OUR REMITTANCE
INSTRUCTION ANY MORE. THAT IS WHY WE SETTLED TO PAY IN CASH THROUGH COURIER.
WE ALSO RECEIVED A SECURITY REPORT THAT YOU PAID THE FRAUDSTERS WHO HAVE
BEEN DECEIVING YOU, TELLING YOU THAT THEY ARE GOING TO SEND THIS MONEY TO
YOU...DEAR, AS A SENIOR BANKER, CONTROLLING THIS CASH PAYMENT NOW, I ADVISE
YOU NOT TO WASTE YOUR MONEY BY PAYING ANY BODY IN ADVANCE AGAIN, AND IF YOU
JUST FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTION, YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR MONEY IN THREE DAYS TIME.
YOUR FUND WILL NOW BE PACKAGED IN A BOX AND TAKE TO THE DIPLOMATIC COURIER
SERVICE FOR IMMEDIATE SHIPMENT, BUT THE KEY TO THE BOX WILL BE SENT TO YOU
SEPARATELY BY (DHL COURIER COMPANY) TO AVOID THE COURIER SERVICE STAFF
INTERCEPT WITH THE CONTENT. I WILL ALSO SEND THE PICTURE OF THE BOX BY
ATTACHMENT TO YOU TO SEE HOW THE MONEY IS PACKED.
THEREFORE, DO FORWARD YOUR HOME ADDRESS AND DIRECT PHONE NUMBER TO ME FOR
QUICK DELIVERY BECAUSE TIME IS NOT IN OUR SIDE. ALL THE DOCUMENTS WILL BE
SENT TO YOU IF I AM ASSURED THAT YOU HAVE STOPPED SENDING MONEY TO THOSE
FRAUDSTER. BUT GOD WILL SURELY JUDGE ALL OF THEM WHO LIVES BY CHEATING. MY
BIBLE SAYS, "WHAT SHALL IT PROFIT A MAN IF YOU GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD BUT
LOOSE YOUR SOUL".
I AM WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH THE REQUIRED INFORMATION OF YOURS.
REV SCHEDRACK JOHNSON,GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR
ECO BANK PLC