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:
- "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)
- ",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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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: "Mr. Kelly George" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 00:50:21 +0200
Subject: Compliment of the season to you and members of your family...Please get back
to me as soon as possible...
I am Mr. Kelly George a US customs officer in charged of inspections Unit us customs border protection New York. Airport. On my official inspection in our seignior rooms last week I discovered an abandoned metallic diplomatic trunk box containing $10,000,000 (Ten Million USA Dollars) defaced ( $100 ) bills, apparently to deceive the US Customs loaded inside the trunk box bearing your name.
After my investigation I discovered that this said abandoned trunk box was coming from Africa by one of the Diplomat Agent who was unable to identify the content of the trunk box on his arrival last year dated 27th April 2015 at John f Kennedy Airport New York
I write to notify you that I am interested to assist you move out the box to your custody as I have concluded every arrangement to move it to you upon receipt of your acceptance to work with me as I will use my position as the inspection CONTROLLER Unit department Boss.
Kindly without delay furnish me your receiving address where I will deliver the box to you by my self for our mutual benefit.
Please try to keep this transaction absolutely confidential for security reasons in order to protect my interest .Do not be afraid hence I am concerned I have track down modalities to move out the box to your custody .
I hope to hear from you immediately to enable us expedite actions towards moving the trunk box out of US Customs custody to your end.
Thank you for your understanding to work with me.
My Regards to you and your family.
Mr. Kelly George
The Executive Director of Admissibility, Inspection and Passenger Programs with U.S. Customs and Border Protection New York