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:
- "the 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)
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "contact 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: "Arnold Robert" <"www."@lime.ocn.ne.jp>
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 10:42:04 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
This is to inform you that during a recent routine check at the Airport Storage/vault security house on Withheld consignments, we discovered an consignments with your name and address on it. According to the legal documents attached to the boxes it contained US$5.5Million. The boxes was heading to your address but was abandoned by the diplomatic Agent due to wrong address.
As the director of the Storage Vault Security House here at the Airport, I have tried to contact the diplomatic Agent but all to no avail, so I decided to contact you been the rightful recipient of the consignments because if the boxes are not collected as soon as possible, it may be terminated for delivery. For this reason, your immediate attention is needed at the Airport Storage/Vault Security House in other for you to pick up your consignments or I can send it to your current address.
If you can not come here to pick up your consignments you are advised to immediately send the below details for an arrangement to be made on how to deliver your consignments to you through a reliable delivery service.
Reconfirm the below details immediately to avoid any mistake.
Mobile Telephone No.:
Please take note that this consignments is supposed to have been returned to the United States Treasury Department as unclaimed delivery due to delay by you in concluding the clearance processes. Without delay, you are advised to respond to this mail by reconfirming the above requested details to avoid wrong delivery.
Finally, beware that once the above requested details is received, as the Director of the Inspection Unit, I must make sure that the delivery of your consignments take effect within 6-8 hours. Call/Text (347) 762-3023
Agent Arnold Robert
Director of the Inspection Unit
JFK AIRPORT USA
Call/Text (347) 762-3023