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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "the diplomat " ("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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Gosin James" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 May 2022 01:13:11 -0700
Am writing to assured you that I have Paid the fee for your
International bank Draft. And I went to the bank to confirm if the
draft has expired or getting near to expire and Mr. Jeff Brown the
Director of Capital Trust Bank told me that before the draft will get
to your hand that it will expire.So I told him to cash the
$4.500,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid losing
this fund. However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the
$4.500,000.00 UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with MAX GLOBAL
COURIER COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic, Mr. Jeff Brown the
Director of Capital Trust Bank Cotonou has to package the fund in cash
for me. Then he also agreed to help me to register the Consignment
with MAX GLOBAL COURIER COMPANY. Intact I thank God very much for all
the movement I made, every thing goes normally. As for our agreement
with the Courier Company promised that your consignment will leave
this Country on Monday next week, But the Director of the COURIER
COMPANY said that they need your contacts information to enable them
meet up with you immediately the Diplomat Agent arrived to your
Please write a letter of application to the given address below .
ATTN:Dr John Sani
Direct Telephone: +229 53739969
Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you
immediately they arrived in your country with your consignment. This
is what they need from you:
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5.YOUR WHATSSAPP NUMBER
9.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
Please make sure you send this needed information to the Director
general of Global Max Courier Company with the address given to you.
Note: The diplomat doesnât know the contents of the consignment. I
registered it as a box of Africa cloths. They don't know it contents
money. This is to avoid them delaying with the consignment. So don't
let them know the content of the box. I am waiting for your urgent
response.Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mr. Gosin James