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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "clearance 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)
- "million dollars" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Tim Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Tim Crawford <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 02:31:58 +0900 (JST)
Subject: FROM JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT NEW YORK
I am Sir Charles Colocino, a senior officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) New York.
I have contacted you for an abandoned diplomatic consignment box and the x-ray scan report box revealed some US dollar bill in it which could be approximately $12.5 Million dollars and the official paper of the box Please contact us as the authentic beneficiary and also for security Purpose, do send me your full information for crossed checking of your details with the information stated in the office.
YOUR FULL NAME:
YOUR HOME ADDRESS:
YOUR HOME / MOBILE TEL NUMBER:
I have taken this myself to contact you personally about this abandoned consignment (JFK) clearance fee of 3,800 dollars. As soon as I get the requested detail from you for verification.
I will proceed and pay the clearance fee and make arrangement for the box to be delivered to you after confirmation is made and upon your acceptance and willingness to co-operate. All communication must be held extremely confidential To ensure a successful delivery.
Kindly send your details to by clicking reply. I will give you a call after my confirmation.