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:
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 Ronald Marcum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 12:13:14 +0200
Subject: ATTENTION BENEFICIARY
United States Postal Service
421 8TH AVE
NEW YORK, NY 10002-9998
Here is to inform you that the US Post Office received a parcel for
you. The Parcel have been transferred to our delivery department for
immediate shipping. The parcel contains a MasterCard valued $2.5
million USD as registered in our system
This parcel was brought to us by the Warren Buffett Foundation
partnered by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Winners are selected through
an electronic ballot system, they embarked on a worldwide promotion
through a sophisticated automated database to randomly select
E-mail/Facebook accounts that frequently surf the Internet. consequent
upon this, you have been selected as one of the deserved beneficiary.
Kindly provide the following information for a safe delivery.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
DATE OF BIRTH:
Also, attach a scanned copy or picture of your International
Passport/Any Valid ID or Driver's License. We will begin the delivery
process and send you a Tracking ID as soon as you have confirmed your
details, and final verification is successful.
NOTE: The Diplomatic agent does not know the content of the parcel.
Meanwhile for security reasons, we will advice that you keep this
information confidential as a means of security to avoid double
claiming and unwarranted taking advantage of this program by
non-participant or unofficial personnel until your parcel is
Hope to receive your response on the Email ID:
Mr Ronald Marcum.