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:
- "storage fee" (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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Diplomatic Agent <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2016 18:16:30 -0400
Subject: Delivery of your Package..
Final Notice of Your Package In view of your inability to receive your package with registration #: CT8100AF from National UK Lottery London United Kingdom originally scheduled to be delivered to you by an agency, city express delivery (c.e.d) has arrived here in United Nation's storage facility, McCarran International Airport Las Vegas, NV 89119.
This package in a golden metal box valued ($15.5 Million USD) (Fifteen million Five hundred thousand dollars) arrived at McCarran International Airport terminal 3 via British airways flight no:BA297 from Heathrow airport London sometime ago. The package with registration no,#: CT8100AF has been cleared and is 100% legitimate.
The agency, attached to the airport, city express delivery (c.e.d) who is supposed to deliver your package have just return the package to our storage facility at the Las Airport, due to incomplete address. Please reconfirm these information's;
1. Your Full Name;
2. Your current address;
3. Your phone number;
4. Nearest airport to your location;
Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the days of grace are over as we are currently dealing with insufficient storage space, therefore we shall begin to charge the daily storage fee of $43 usd only, and the fee will be direct to united nation head office Benin Republic.
Please call or SMS: Diplomat Francisco Molengo, on (702 781-1418) he will email you the name to wire the money to united nations head office Benin Republic. Extension 21 terminal 3 or contact to release this package directly to you.
Note that this notice serves as our last recovery notice to you as our department will be compelled to shortlist your package as an unclaimed consignment, and maybe forfeited. Note: Delivery of your package from the airport to your residential address is free.
STORAGE OFFICER Terminal 3 Extension 11
Cargo Unit:Las Vegas Nevada
McCarran International Airport code: LAS
Las Vegas, NV 89119