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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "demurrage " (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)
- "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)
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nenita Villaran" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 16:02:36 -0000
Subject: Partner / Associate
I am Madam Nenita Villaran-a citizen of Philippine, widow, and legitimate heir to the late former Minister of finance who was assassinated for been working with the ex-president Joseph .E in Philippine.
I inherited a total sum of 12.3 million dollars from my late husband, The pressure from my decease husband's family for this money has compelled me to leave Manila and have the money which is concealed in a metallic trunk box is deposited with a security and finance company Cote d' Ivoire under a secret arrangement as a family treasure.
This means that the security company does not know the content of this box that was shipped from the Philippine to Cote d' Ivoire under a diplomatic coverage. My purpose of asking for your assistance boil down to the fact that I don't want my late husband's family to be aware or name involve, and the deposit statement of the box authorized the company to make this box available for shipment on request only to my foreign business representative, though unnamed.
Hence I want you to contact the the security company as my business partner / associate, after receiving the prove from me to enable the company release the consignment to you diplomatically, while I join you on the arrival of the box.
I have recently paid all demurrage ,storage charges and the shipment fee, all you need to do is to help me contact the security company and introduce yourself as my business partner / associate ,requesting the shipment of the box to your address which you will provide.
And as soon as Diplomatic shipping agent approved the shipment and tell you the arrival date of the box then I will join you to give you 15% of the money instantly before I go on with the proposed investment in your domain provided is secured and investment friendly. Please if you are interested and willing to represent me as my business partner / associate kindly write me as soon as possible.
I awaits your urgent response
Madam Nenita Villaran