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:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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: "Mr DAVID LEE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2018 01:12:58 -0800
Subject: FROM DAVID WANG LEE
Am Mr. David Lee The Custom Officer For United Nations Here Paris, France Am The Inspection Officer For All Consignment Coming In And Going Out From The EU In The Name Of The United Nations. I Happen To Discover That You Have An Abandon Consignment Inheritance Box Worth US$95 million , After Proper Investigation, I Discovered That The Consignment Was Meant To Be Delivered To Your Address But Because Of The Inspection And Security Keeping Fees That Was Supposed To Be Paid To The Diplomats Before They Can Complete The Delivery, They Abandon The Consignment And Left Without Notice Of Return.
This Consignment Was Kept In Our Storage Facility For Over 3 Years Now. As I Write This Message To You, I Was Just Clearing Up The Storage facility Today When I Discovered The Sealed Consignment, After I Checked The Consignment Number On Our Database, I Discovered That It Was Made Available To You And Register In Your Name, But Because Of My Position At The Airport,
I Decided To Contact You Because I Can Also Complete This Delivery To You Without Delays, But You Will Have to pay for the customs duty fee only to enable proceed to your country, And You Will Also Promise Me that this Deal Will Be Kept 100% Confidential Between The Both Of Us Until I you receive the Consignment.
I Will Not Want To Waste More Of Your Time, Attach to me your Identification and full address , We Can Complete This Once I Hear From You And Your Ready for me to assist you deliver this fund sucessfully
Kindly Reply Back To Me By E-Mail.firstname.lastname@example.org