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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jude Daniels" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:54:01 -0700
Subject: RE: INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CONSIGNMENT IN BWI AIRPORT
Mr. Jude Daniels
BWI Airport, Maryland
RE: INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CONSIGNMENT IN BWI AIRPORT
I know this message will be surprising to you but understand it is coming from someone that has good information for you.
I work in Baltimore Washington International in Maryland USA. I am a customs inspector posted in Terminal A in the airport.
I want to tell you that all the monies you had been paying to claim your consignment is going to wrong officers.
I overheard an officer discussing you with another officer and the discussion was that you choose to go through back door to claim your consignment. I understand in their discussion that you had paid monies outside United States before the consignment made of two boxes arrived here.
I am concerned about this high profile corruption and have to monitor their communication with you for two weeks before I am able to get your name and email address from them through our XUSCIRS.
I have checked the information of the two boxes on the lists of imported goods and did not see the consignment listed. If any goods did not appear on the list of imported goods in the file that means it came in illegally.
It is based on this fact they are extorting money from you and not working in your good interest.
I have gone to the warehouse where the boxes are packed and the boxes are marked ''CLEARED BUT YET TO BE COLLECTED'' your name and country of origin is also marked on the boxes.
I was able to trace a document that was used to import the two boxes across counties and to United States.
The document is legal but the corrupt officers decided to hold onto the consignment because they know the boxes contain money.
I can smuggle the boxes out of the warehouse with connection of the chief warehouse guide but I have to be sure you are in support it.
If you are in support to smuggle the boxes to you, I will need reconfirmation of your full name and address to prepare backup document to present at the airport gate when passing the boxes.
Please keep this information secret.