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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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: KL LK <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 16:44:05 -0800
Subject: RE: INTERCEPTION OF CONSIGNMENT BOXES THAT CONTAIN $4.1 MILLION
RE: INTERCEPTION OF CONSIGNMENT BOXES THAT CONTAIN $4.1 MILLION
I am Special Agent Jason Gale from the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) Intelligence Field Unit, we Intercepted two consignment boxes at
JFK Airport, New York, the boxes were scanned but found out that it
contained large sum of money ($4.1 million) and also some backup
documents which bears your name as the Beneficiary/Receiver of the
money, Investigation carried out on the diplomat that accompanied the
boxes into the United States, said that he was to deliver the fund to
your your at your address as overdue payment owed to you by the Federal
Government of Nigeria through the security company in the United
Meanwhile, we cross check all legal documents in the boxes but we
found out that your consignment was lacking an important document and
we cannot release the boxes to the diplomat until the document is
found, right now we have no other choice than to confiscated your
According to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in Title 26 also contain
reporting requirement on a Form 8300, Report of Cash Payment Over
$10,000 Received in a Trade or Business, money laundering activity may
violate 18 USC 1956, 18 USC 1957, 18 USC 1960, and provision of Title
31, and 26 USC 6050I of the United States Code (USC), this section
will discuss only those money laundering and currency violation under
the jurisdiction of IRS, your consignment lacks proof of ownership
certificate from the joint team of IRS and IRC, therefore you need to
reply back immediately for direction on how to procure this
certificate to enable us relieved the charge of evading the law on
you, which is a punishable offense in the United States.
You are required to reply back within 72hours or you will be
prosecuted in a court of law for money laundering, also you are
instructed to desist from further contact with any bank(s) or
person(s) in Nigeria or the United kingdom or any part of the world
regarding your payment because your consignment has been confiscated
by the Federal Bureau here in the United States.
Yours In Service,
Agent Jason Gale
Regional Deputy Director
Intelligence Field Unit