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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Peter Brook" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2019 11:10:23 -0800
Subject: The Abandoned Project.
I am the new EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and Head of Operations of Overseas
Credit Commission London, UK. Sometime ago, in
our organization your overdue consignment fund was brought to our
office for final delivery clearance.
However, upon my arrival to this office, I found your consignment
clearance file lying fallow on my desk without any attention. On a
thorough scrutiny I discovered that your consignment have been
abandoned by your delivery agent. Meanwhile, I have made several
attempts to contact your delivery agent but to no avail. To my
greatest surprise, during my recent routine checking, I personally
discovered that your consignment content declaration documents stated
that your consignment contains personal effects meanwhile, it contains
United States dollar bills worth over US$ 10.5 Million dollars, which
made it impossible for the consignment to be delivered to you earlier
Based on this personal discovery, I am contacting you now to let you
know that with my position and power in this office, I can assist you
to legally clear your consignment fund, but you must agree with the
You must not disclose to any member of my organization whatever
assistance that I am going to render to you in respect of clearing
this consignment fund into your custody.
You will provide me with an authenticated promissory note, other wise
known as partnership agreement, that upon the safe arrival of the
consignment fund to your custody, that you give me 40% of the total
fund contained in the consignment.
You must give adequate attention to this matter until we successfully
and legally clear the consignment fund into your custody.
Upon your acceptance with my above conditions, I will furnish you with
further details of what should be done to legally get the consignment
fund cleared and delivered to you as the rightful owner of the
Meanwhile, if you know that you would be unable to keep the secret of
my assistance to you in this regards, please do not border to reply.
Hence the consignment fund would be recovered into our organization
treasury account as unclaimed consignment fund. Be informed that the
consignment contain the sum of $10.5 million dollars in the luggage.
But if you can assure me of your competency to keep this secret, I
would like to hear from you soon as possible so that I can email you
further details and guidelines.
I am looking forward to your earliest response.
Have a Great Day
Mr. Peter Brook
Head of Operations