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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "a 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: "Mark Nelson" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2017 16:15:53 +0700
Subject: FROM MARK NELSON OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CALIFORNIA U.S.A YOUR
Hello my Good friend
I am Dr Mark Nelson.I work with the Luggage and Baggage Storage Facilities
at the Oakland International Airport California as Head of Department.We
discovered an abandoned shipment from a diplomat from London and it
revealed after going through scan an undisclosed amount
of money in a trunk box.the consignment is still left in our storage house
here at Oakland international airport because the contents of consignment
was not properly declared.
However,to enable me confirm you're the actual recipient of this package,I
will like you to provide your current,
A SCAN COPY OF YOUR VALID IDENTITY: INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT OR DRIVERS
Furthermore,I want you to be informed that I am contacting you about this
abandoned shipment because I know you need it and I want us to transact
this business and share the money 80percent for you and 20percent for
me;since the consignment has not been returned to the united state
treasury department.I wait to hear from you as soon as possible,that is if
you're still alive and,if you can keep this confidential.
Dr Mark Nelson
Senior Inspectorate Officer.