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)
- "the 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: "Mr.Andy Roy Joe" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 23:42:54 -0800
Subject: ATTENTION:Notice On Your Consignment Box reg #: HG1N8875C2
Airport Storage and Cargo Unit
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
PA 19153, USA
ATTENTION:Notice On Your Consignment Box reg #: HG1N8875C2.
In view of your inability to receive your Consignment Box reg #:
HG1N8875C2 originally scheduled to be delivered to you by the agency
foreign payment service United Kingdom. This Consignment box in a
metal box valued 7,316,000USD (Seven Million, Three
Hundred and Sixteen thousand United States dollars) arrived here
at Philadelphia International Airport via United Airlines Flight UA 4130.
I am writing to inform you that we have intercepted and investigated
the said Consignment box and the investigation proved the legitimacy
of its content. Note, your Consignment box was initially scheduled for
delivery to you, The Diplomat who arrived with the Consignment made
several attempts to reach you all efforts proved abortive so he
decided to leave for his country do to complications from COVID-19, but
I will use my good office as the senior US customs Boss move the Consignment
box from Airport to your door step successfully without involving any problem,
but before he left he settled the delivery charges and left the Storage
Keeping Charges unpaid due to the reasons that he did not know when you
will make claim on the consignment and the Cargo and Storage Unit charges
$100.00 for each day the Consignment box stays in our custody.
You are therefore advised to contact me back as we the Cargo Unit and
U.S Customs are to assist you recover your Consignment box and
deliver it to you.You are to contact me back to recover your Consignment or we will be
compelled to list your Consignment Box as an unclaimed and maybe
forfeited and moved to the United Kingdom for holding.
If you are willing to have your consignment box delivered to your home address E-mail
me at firstname.lastname@example.org
God Bless you and God Bless United States of America.
Mr.Andy Roy Joe,
Director. Airport customs Storage and Cargo Unit
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
PA 19153, United States