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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- "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)
- "trunk boxes" (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 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)
- "you are advise to" (this email uses bad English)
- "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: "Financial Crimes Enforcement Network" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2018 20:55:42 +0100
Subject: Your fund ready for delivery
Financial Crime Enforcement Agency/
U.S custom and Border Protection.
101 Atlantic City International Airport,
Egg Harbor Township, NJ
We write to bring to your notice about the interception of two trunk boxes on the 1st August, 2018 containing $11.5 Million Dollars from a diplomat agent which belongs to you on the process of having it delivered to your address. After investigation was carried out through the documents provided by the agent it was discovered that your fund is clean money and has nothing to do with money laundering and drug related activities. For this reason, your agent is free to carry out the delivery to your address without any interception or embarrassment from any authority once it has been cleared.
I wish to inform you that your trunk boxes are still pending for clearance. You are advise to get back to us immediately and ensure that this clearance is done today to avoid having your fund confiscated. Your agent can be reached at +1(786) 763-3265.
Your immediate and urgent co-operation is needed or your fund will be confiscated.
FinCEN Acting Director.
U.S DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL CRIME ENFORCEMENT (FINCEN)
ATLANTIC CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRORT (ACY)