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:
- "clearance permit" (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. )
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "certified bank draft" (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- +447011173917 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: COMMONWEALTH BANK <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2023 13:36:00 -0700
Subject: Attention: Mr/Mrs.
The London Investigation Department of the European Security & Defense
Council (ESDC) hereby express our profound surprise concerning the
long-term delay that has affected the release of your approved Funds.
The European Union Financial Commission (EUFC) in conjunction with the
International Monetary Funds (IMF) and the World Bank have statutorily
mandated the London Investigation Department (LID) to
investigate,scrutinize and ratify all Internationally owed Funds.
Hence, we have the singular authority to issue Final International
Payment Clearance Permit to all beneficiaries that have satisfied our
investigation /ratification protocols and such abiding beneficiary
MUST receive his/her entitled Funds through the International
Operative Paying Bank within next 48hours.
On the course of our Official Investigations,we confirmed the actual
existence of your Funds and the legitimacy of your claims as the
entitled beneficiary.Therefore,this office is determined to protect
the Funds in your favor and to ensure the smooth transfer of the Money
into your account once you quickly fulfill the procedural directives
as officially stipulated in our constitution.Due to the large number
of beneficiaries that their Funds has been delayed without adequate
justice since the past many years,the European Security and Defense
Council (E.S.D.C) shall provide absolute security for the Funds on
behalf of the beneficiary to protect you from any further hardship and
your Approved Funds in the sum of US$25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five
Million U.S. Dollars) is made READY for Payments in your favor.
I will Make sure that you receive the MONEY into your account once you
cooperate with my instructions very well. You shall SUCCEED and be
HAPPY.Let us know the Method of payment that is most preferable to
you.The available Methods are detailed below:
(1) PAYMENT BY DIPLOMATIC COURIER DELIVERY:This system entails that
the beneficiary will provide his/her residential or office address
where the Delivery Agents will meet the beneficiary and hand-over the
Funds in CASH (packaged as Consignment) to the Boniface
beneficiary.The Delivery shall be done via Diplomatic Secure Courier
which is Internationally handled by the GLOBAL TRUST COURIER AGENCY
and the Funds will be SAFELY moved for smooth delivery into your own
hands.You will be allowed to Open the Consignment in the presence of
the Delivery Officials, Count your Money and Confirm that it is
COMPLETE before you Sign the documents confirming that you have
received your entitled approved amount. Also, the Delivery Officials
can accompany you to any Bank of your Choice in your Country with
their Identity of Proof of Funds' Authenticity Documents to enable you
Lodge the Funds successfully in your own Name as the singular owner of
(2) PAYMENT BY CASH / CERTIFIED BANK DRAFT: This is the second option
of International transfer done in this Office. The process is that the
beneficiary will appear physically in London, UK with personal
Identification like International Passport or Driver's License to
assure us that we are dealing with the Right person. After that,the
beneficiary will be made to sign some vital Funds'Release and
Classified Documents then, the approved Funds will be Handed-over to
such beneficiary in CASH or Internationally Acceptable Certified Bank
Draft which is confirm able in any Commercial Bank of elevated
standard in the world. You will stay only two days in London and the
Paying Officials of the FINANCE UK International will assist you to
ensure absolute security of the Cash.
(3.) FUNDS' RELEASE BY TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER (TT): This system of
payment entails that the beneficiary will provide his/her regular
checking account details and the concerned remittance authorities of
this Bank will effect the Release of the approved Funds by Wire
Telegraphic Transfer DIRECTLY to the beneficiaries account destination
in his/her country. The account information from the beneficiary must
include a Bank name, address of bank, account number, routing
number/swift or sort code and name on account. And, we shall proceed
to effectually transfer the approved Funds into your own bank account.
You are hereby advised to CHOOSE from the above THREE (3) Enlisted
Options and report to this Office via email urgently today to enable
us proceed effectively to finalize the release of the approved amount
in your favor. We are officially obliged to facilitate the release of
your entitled sum and we enjoin you to comply promptly with our
EUROPEAN SECURITY & DEFENSE COUNCIL
LONDON INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT 'LID'
FUNDS' FINAL CLEARANCE AUTHORITY
187, CAMDEN STR., LONDON EC2M 6HS, UNITED KINGDOM.
OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER: +44 7011173917.
CONTACT PERSON: DR.MRS.NANCY NEK
Thank and we are waiting to hear from you today.