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:
- 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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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 immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "federal high court" (This court is often mentioned in '419' scams to give the victim a reason why he/she should send thousands of dollars to the scammers. A 'Federal High Court' exists in Germany and Nigeria, but not in other countries, such as the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Senegal, Benin, South Africa or other countries where fake lawyers in scams often claim to be based. )
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Smith Carlson Scoth <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2012 14:46:50 +0000
Subject: GREETING;FROM Inspection Unit in John F.Kennedy International
Airport NY USA
Hello Consignment Owner,
I am Mr. Smith Carlson Scoth, Director Inspection Unit in John F.Kennedy International Airport NY USA; During our recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, we had discovered an abandoned shipment from one Diplomat agent called Frank Johnson who came all the way from Republic of Benin, under shipping forwarder from Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport to our facility custody here in JFK Intl Airport New York and when scanned, it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in one Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately 12kg.
The consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as MONEY rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent and also the inability of the diplomat to pay for the United States Non Inspection Charges, On my assumption, the boxes contain more than $2.8 Million and the consignment is still in our Storage House here in NY Intl Airport till today.
However; You should be informed that the Consignment in one metal boxes with weight of about 12kg (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 180 L.) Approximately, the details of the consignment including your name/address and official document from the United Nations in Benin was tagged on the Metal Trunk boxes. Please note that this consignment is supposed to returned to the United States Treasury Department as unclaimed delivery due to your delays in contacting us with (Sworn Affidavit for claim / diplomatic immunity) from the origin of the Country Benin,
BOTH CERTIFICATES WILL COST YOU THE SUM OF $70 USD TO OBTAIN,
So as a matter of urgent you are hereby advised to pick up below information and send the Sworn Affidavit and diplomatic immunity fee of 46.00 to our Inspection Agent in Republic of Benin to obtain the Sworn Affidavit Certificate and diplomatic immunity from the Federal High Court of justice,
HERE IS THE INFORMATION WHERE TO SEND HIM THE $70 USD TODAY;
Receipt Name......Ameke Emmanuel
I await to hear from you urgently with the required fee.
THANK AND GOD BLESS.
Mr.Smith Carlson Scoth Director Inspector
JOHN F KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (JFK) NY CITY,
QUEENS, NEW YORK 11422, STATI UNIT TO 215 WEST 94TH STREET UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.