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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "security keeping 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. )
- "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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("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.Charles Edward" <.Edward.@maple.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Mr.Charles Edward" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2016 20:21:36 +0900 (JST)
Subject: NATIONAL SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Dear Fund Beneficiary,
We are Diplomats that arrange for the safekeeping of special and valuable packages and baggage in trust for reputable clients that are honest and trustworthy.
We work in collaboration with top firms and Governments of various countries as we have earned a name as a service whose hallmarks in reliability and confidentiality are revered. International missions, Fellow Diplomats and Embassies of the world have used our services to satisfaction.
A benefactor whose identity can not be disclosed because of the Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement that was signed with the said benefactor when the funds were being deposited, made you the beneficiary of a package containing some amount of money and stated clearly that you should only be contacted when the time signed for it to be in our care elapses and the time has already elapsed that is why you are being contacted.
The Non Circumvention and Non Disclosure Agreement signed with the benefactor mandates us to fully divulge and disclose the benefactor$B!G(Bs identity 18 months after you, the beneficiary, has received the funds.
The funds totals $7.5M (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) and we confirm that these funds are fully free of any liens, or encumbrances and are clean, clear and non-criminal origin and are available in the form of CASH.
You are hereby advised to reconfirm your Full Contact Information for verification with information contained in our computer database as well as other relevant information in the format stated below so that the funds would be arranged to be brought to your Country of residence by Diplomats who would accompany you to your bank (if you want them to deposit the funds in your name and submit all documentations of proof of the origin of the funds in other to exonerate you from any form of investigations or interrogation and to authenticate the fact that the funds are clean and has no links whatsoever with either drugs or terrorism.
The only money you will send to the National Security/Diplomatic warehouse Benin Republic to deliver your Trunk Box direct to your postal Address in your country is US$250 only being Security Keeping Fee of the National Security/Diplomatic warehouse Benin Republic.
So far again, don$B!G(Bt be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except US$250 for the services rendered by the Warehouse in keeping your Consignment safe for you till this time.
The Requested Information is to ensure that no mistake or error is made and it should be forwarded in the manner stated below:
Your Full Name: ______________________________
Your Complete Address (not P.O.BOX) : ______________________________
Name of City of Residence: ____________________
Name of Closest Airport to City of Residence:___________________________
Direct Telephone Number: ____________________________________
The Contact Numbers are very necessary because the number would be called by the Diplomats before the funds would be handed over to you so as to ensure that the package is handed over to the rightful owner. So it$B!G(Bs mandatory you send your Direct Telephone Number preferably your Mobile or Cell Phone Number Complete the above and send back to me as soon as possible.
This is why I decided to get involved. You must also know that this arrangement does not involve any of the people you were dealing with in Benin Republic in the past because this consignment/Payment has been surrendered to the Government of Benin Republic with my involvement.
Congratulations in advance.
Mr. John Leonard
National Security/Diplomatic warehouse Benin Republic.
DIPLOMATIC DELIVERY OF YOUR CONSIGNMENT.