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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "w. Stuart Symington" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2018 13:45:12 +0100
Subject: GOOD NEWS
UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL
FOREIGN CONSULATE IN LAGOS
WALTER CARRINGTON CRES, VICTORIA
FROM UNITED STATES EMBASSY
Be informed that I have resolved with the Nigeria Presidency to
deliver the sum of $5,000,000.00 (Five Million United States Dollars)
being the contract/inheritance fund payment.
I shall be coming to your country for an official meeting this week
with your ATM Card containing the fund which has been packaged and
sealed in your favor but has nothing to do with the customs because
immunity covering me as an US Ambassador to Nigeria, I am a us
government agent and I have the veto power to go through customs
without any verification.I am scheduled to have a brief meeting within
your country this week.
I was able to deliver an ATM Card to one (C BOSON) that lives at YUMA,
AZ 85364 on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 11:03am through United States
Below are the tracking details , You are to track it to see for yourself.
Tracking Number: EE326039585NG
February 9, 2018 at 11:03 am
Delivered, Left with Individual
YUMA, AZ 85364
Make sure you track it first and see it yourself, As soon as i am
through with the meeting i shall proceed to your home.
You should send your cell phone number and your delivery house address
where you want me to bring the ATM Card. You have really paid so much
as i was made to understand and that is why i personally have decided
to intervened after the G8 meeting with various country government
officials. You are a very lucky person because i shall be bringing it
myself and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
My trip will be by mid week and i expect you to comply before then so
that the delivery can be completed. If you do not comply, then it will
be your fault for not receiving your ATM Card.
1. Your Full Names: ...
2. Cell Phone No:..
3. Address where you want me to bring your package..
Ambassador w. Stuart Symington
UNITED STATES CONSULATE GENERAL