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:
- "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)
- "abuja" (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: "William S. Symington" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2019 20:18:11 -0200
Subject: U.S Ambassador.
From United States Ambassador To Nigeria
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive Central
District Area, Abuja Nigeria
First let me introduce my self, am Ambassador Stuart Symington United
States ambassador to Nigeria , Am sending this message to inform you that i have a plan in which your fund will get to your hands but you should offer me 30% of the total fund.
If you can offer me 30% i will carry out the plan without any further delay. I need to brief you the plan and the plan i have is as ambassador i have a diplomatic International Passport to any country of the word
also as US ambassador to Nigeria i can bring in any
Consignment to your country if both us can work together so
what i want to do is have a meeting with top officers at
Ministry Of Finance, Central Bank who is in charge of
fund release and Government agencies and inform them that i
want to personally bring your fund to your country through
All i will need them to do is
package the fund into two or three suitcases and hand it
over to me than i will handle it they way i could to get it
deliver to your door step BUT DO NOT FORGET I WILL TAKE 30%
OF THE FUND AT THE END.
William S. Symington