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:
- 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:
- "security keeping fee" (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. )
- "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)
- "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 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. )
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.SUSAN DAVID." <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2022 08:15:25 -1100
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary.
CONTACT MR.JOHN YOUNG (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I have Paid the fee for your Cheque Draft. But the bank manager told
me that before the check will get to you that it will expire. So i
told him to cash the $3.6M USD and all the necessary arrangement of
delivering the $3.6 M USD in cash was made with FEDEX COURIER
COMPANY.the information they need to deliver your package to you.
What you have to do now is to contact FEDEX COURIER SERVICES as soon
as possible to know when they will deliver your Consignment box to you
because of the expire date. For your information, I have paid for the
Diplomat V.I.P box, delivering Charges and Insurance premium.
The only money you will send to the FEDEX COURIER SERVICES to deliver
your Consignment direct to your home Address is only their Security
Keeping Fee $50, no any other money except Security Keeping Fees, you
have to contact them urgent with all information needed from you and
in case of demurrage.
Contact FedEx Delivery office with the following Co-ordinate below:
MR.JOHN YOUNG E-mail:(email@example.com)
Contact numbers;(+234)-9069417796 or +2349052604995
Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you
immediately they arrived in your country with your Diplomat V.I.P BOX.
This is what they needed from you.
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CELL TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE/HOME TELEPHONE.
5.A COPY OF YOUR IDENTITY CARD
Shipment Code AWB 33xQT.
Package Registered Code No XFT477.
Security Code Sctc /5501BDHX/844.
Transactions Code 0477/QSTC/117/330478/.
Certificates Code SQTCF/BHDN/XXIQ/-78/00.
Please make sure you send this needed information to the Director
general of FedEx Express Courier Company Mr.John Young with his
address given to you. Note That FedEx Courier Company don't know the
contents of the Box. I registered it as a Box of Christian
books/materials. They don't know it contents money. This is to avoid
them delaying with the Box. don't let them know that is money that is
in that Box. I am waiting for your urgent response. You can even call
the Director of FedEx Courier Company with this line +234
CONTACT MR.JOHN YOUNG (firstname.lastname@example.org)
best regard. MRS.SUSAN DAVID.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.