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:
- "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 united states 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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: "MR.W. STUART SYMINGTON" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2018 01:48:18 +0300
Subject: I15-D840F8 !! waiting For Your Reply!!!
US AMBASSADOR OFFICE
11 GARIK ROAD LAGOS
FROM THE U.S AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA
BE INFORMED THAT I HAVE USED MY OFFICE TO RESOLVE THE ISSUE OF YOUR UNCLAIMED PAYMENT SUM OF $15.3 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS WITH THE NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY WHICH WAS ORIGINATED FROM A CONTRACTS,INHERITANCE AND COMPENSATION PAYMENT.NOW, THE U.S EMBASSY HERE IN NIGERIA HAS MANDATED A DELIVERY COMPANY THAT WILL BE DELIVERING YOUR PAYMENT TO YOU IN CASH AND THE CASH PAYMENT METHOD WILL COME TO YOU IN FORM OF A CONSIGNMENT WHICH WILL BE PACKAGED AND SEALED IN YOUR FAVOR AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT THE DELIVERY COMPANY HAS IMMUNITY TO DELIVER WITHOUT ANY OBSTACLE. YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR CELL PHONE NUMBER AND FULL ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT THE DELIVERY COMPANY TO DELIVER YOUR FUND/CONSIGNMENT PACKAGE TO. I UNDERSTAND THAT SO MANY UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND OTHER COUNTRY'S CITIZENS HAS FACED A LOT OF CHALLENGES JUST TO CLAIM THESE SAME FUND BUT THERE WAS NO LUCK THAT WAS WHY I HAD TO INTERVENE ON THIS ISSUE AND I MUST SAY THAT YOU ARE A VERY LUCKY PERSON BECAUSE ONE OF OUR AGENT WILL ACCO MPANY THE DELIVERY COMPANY ALONGS
TO SECURE THE DELIVERY FULLY IN YOUR FAVOR AT THE NIGERIAN AIRPORT OF DISPATCH,YOUR PACKAGE MUST UNDERGO REGISTRATION AS AN AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE IN YOUR NAME FOR THE DELIVERY COMPANY AND OUR AGENT TO BE ABLE TO DEFEAT ALL ODDS DURING THE DELIVERY PROCESS AND THE COST OF REGISTERING YOUR FUND/CONSIGNMENT IS US$155 ONLY WHICH IS PAYABLE TO THE DELIVERY COMPANY BEFORE SHIPMENT WILL BE MADE. THESE FEE MUST BE PAID WITHIN THE NEXT 72 HOURS TO THE DELIVERY COMPANY SO THAT ALL NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE MADE BEFORE TIME WILL BE AGAINST US.
TREAT AS URGENT,
YOURS IN SERVICE
UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA