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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("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:
Reply-To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Government Office Washington, DC
Director Christopher A. Wray
Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau
U.S. Department of Justice
601 4th Street NW
Washington, DC 20535
Good day to you and how are you today?
My name is Mr. Christopher A. Wray
Director in Charge Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI. Washington,
DC. United States of America (USA)
I am writing to let you know that we received several consignment
boxes from Atlanta Georgia Airport with some different peoples names
on them. Among the consignment boxes that are still in our custody,
your name was included on them. Others are from the Benin Republic
Customs Office branch, Several banks in Europe and parts of Asia.
They have all been sent to our office here in Washington, D.C.
Headquarters to make sure that you received your consignment boxes
after securing the airport delivery Yellow Tag which is not placed on
the boxes to clear your consignment boxes from the Airport.
This morning (Mrs. Susan Williams) sent to us a message stating that
she was a family member of you and she also said that you are no more
alive and she made us to understood that you handed over your
belonging to her when you was still alive, So therefore the lady is
demanding for the consignment boxes to be release to her as she is
trying to stand as your next of kin but we are still waiting to see if
you will respond to this email within 24hours
Because, We are very careful that was the reason why we ignored the
message from Mrs. Susan Williams but still awaiting to see if you will
respond to this alert message for us to be sure that you are still
alive and send the require fee $200 to obtain the airport delivery
Yellow Tag which is not placed on the boxes so that your can received
your consignment boxes without any more delay on it.
Do reconfirm below information as to avoid wrong delivery.
So kindly contact us urgently with the $200 if you are Alive to get
the two tag placed on the boxes as that tag will enable Diplomatic
Agent get to your house successfully without any interference,Thanks