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:
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: "Mr.Frank Wilson Sr" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 May 2022 23:41:04 +0100
Subject: Attention From FedEx Courier Company
Attention From FedEx Courier Company
We wish to inform you that the diplomatic agent conveying the
CONSIGNMENT BOX valued the sum of $4.8Million United States Dollars is
currently stranded at your
International airport now. We required you to reconfirm the following
information below so that he can deliver your CONSIGNMENT BOX to you
YOUR NAME: =================
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:========
A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION :===============
CONTACT MR PHILLIP COOK VIA WHATSAPP +16504794637 OR TEXT MASSAGE,
This notification is reaching you from FedEx Company Nigeria,we have
received your CONSIGNMENT BOX worth the total sum of $4.8M US Dollars
from Economic Organization Of West African States (ECOWAS)and our
Diplomatic agent is prepared to take off to your country for the
delivery of the BOX. After our final meeting regarding the fund we
resolve to contact you before our DIPLOMAT shall arrive your Country
and encounter any kind of wrong DELIVERY
Contact Person : Mr.Phillip Cook
Email Address :(firstname.lastname@example.org) Whatssapp number +16504794637
All i needed from you is to be alerted so that the Diplomatic Agent
will not encounter any kind of delay that might hold him from
delivering the box to your home address.Hoping to hear from you
soon!!! Chat him in WhatssApp +16504794637
Mr.Frank Wilson Sr
FedEx Courier Company Benin Republic