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:
- "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: "Alessandro Signorino" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2019 23:15:27 -0800
Subject: I NEED YOUR CONSENT, NOW!!!
I am detective Alessandro Signorino, Chief Airport Security Agency.
I hereby wish to inform you that we have recovered your inheritance consignment (box) from criminal who is trying to redirect the delivery of your consignment to another address which is totally different from yours, this criminal stated that you are aware of changing the delivery address to another destination and we decided to confirm from you if you permitted him to redirect the delivery of your consignment to another destination or not before we can release him with your consignment.
Please are you aware of changing the delivery of your consignment (box) to another destination?
NOTE: this consignment (box) retrieved from the criminal during our last routine inspection and suspected to be banking instruments worth millions of United States Dollars as indicated on the consignment papers.
Reply immediately we want to know if you authorized him to change the delivery of your consignment/box to another destination or not.
Get back to me quickly.
Yours in service,
Detective Alessandro Signorino,
Chief Airport Security Agency.