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:
- 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Mohamedi Laborta" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 6 Feb 2023 14:47:54 +0200
Subject: Antt; My Dear,
Antt; My Dear,
How are you today? I am writing to inform you that I went to the
bank to confirm if the Cheque has expired or getting near
to expire and Mr.Mohamedi Laborta the Director of Financial Trust Bank
told me that before the cheque will get to your hand
that it will expire.
So I told him to cash your $10.5Million UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash
payment to avoid losting this funds.However, all the
necessary arrangement of delivering the $10.5Million UNITED STATES
DOLLARS in cash was made with DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE
COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic, Mr.Mohamedi Laborta the
Director of Financial Trust Bank Cotonou have package the
sum of $10.5Million in cash for me. Then he also agreed to help me to
Register the Consignment with DIPLOMATIC COURIER
SERVICE COMPANY BENIN REPUBLIC.
Infact I thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing
goes normally. As for our agreement with the DILOMAT
COURIER SERVICE COMPANY BENIN they promised that your consignment will
leave this Country any monment next week,But the
Director of the DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY said that they need
your contacts informations to able them meet up with
you immediately they Company Diplomat Agent arrived to your Country.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below.
ATTN: (DR.NNAMUDI PAUL)
TEl: (00229 59 875 306)
Send them your contacts information to able them locate you
immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .
1.YOUR FULL NAME
2.YOUR HOME ADDRESS.
3.YOUR CURRENT HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER.
4.YOUR CURRENT OFFICE TELEPHONE.
5.A COPY OF YOUR PICTURE
6.YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT
Please make sure you send this needed infoâs to the Director General
of DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY Dr.NNAMUDI PAUL
with the address given to you. Note.The Diplomat Agent DIPLOMATIC
COURIER SERVICE COMPANY donât know the contents of the Box.
I registered it as a BOX of an Africa cloths. They donât know it
contents money. this is to avoid them delaying with the BOX.
donât let them know that is money that is in that Box to avoid
delaying with it. I am waiting for your urgent response.
You can even call the Director of DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE COMPANY
with this line: 00229 59 875 306
Thanks and Remain Blessed.