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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Morris Wiiliams" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2016 05:10:08 -0700
Subject: ATTENTION: fINAL NOTICE OF YOUR PACKAGE
Cargo Unit: Valley International Airport,
Airport code: ORD 10000 West
texas, IL 60666:USA,
ATTENTION: 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).
This package in a golden metal box valued $3,316,000 USD (Three
million Four hundred and sixteen thousand dollars) mistakenly arrived
at Chicago O'Hare International Airport terminal 5 via British airways
flight no.BA297 from Heathrow airport London sometime ago. The package
with registration no,#: CT8100AF has been cleared by the USA customs
and is 100% legitimate.
The agency, attached to the airport, DHL express delivery (c.e.d) who
delivered your package to your address have just return the package to
our storage facility at the Valley 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.........
5. Your Occupation; ...............
Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the days of grace has
elapsed and The Airport Authority has begin to charge the daily storage fee of $189usd
only, and the fee will be direct to united nation head office Benin
Republic. Please call:Mr Marvin Clark UN AGENT, on +18173639380.. he will
email you the name to wire the money to united nation head office
Benin Republic. Extension 21 terminal 5 or contact Email address:(
firstname.lastname@example.org) to release this package directly
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 5 Extension 11
Consignment from United nation payment Delegation west Africa state.
Mr Morris Williams.
UN CHIEF ON PAYMENT MATTERS.