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:
- "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: Warren Hoffman <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2021 11:47:17 +0700
Subject: Greetings/kindly Reply
Greetings to you and your family, hope you are safe and protected from
this Corona-Virus Pandemic (COVID-19) my name is Mr. Warren Hoffman I
am working with a financial Security Vault Company named SHURGARD
SELF-STORAGE VAULT & Security Company, there is a consignment
deposited in our vault that is under my control, this consignment was
deposited by an Iranian citizen that is a Gold merchant with the
Government of Sere-Lone and Ghana, the content of the deposit is a
large quantity of Gold concealed as House hold items.
The value of the Gold is about (US$18 -20 Million dollars) The
depositor of this consignment is late and there is no record of his
next of kin or associate in our file to inherit or claim this
consignment, I have not notified our company about the death of this
IRANIAN MAN, if my company get to know about his death this
consignment will be confiscated by my company. So, I see this as a
golden opportunity for me, I decided to contact you for partnership
for our mutual benefit.
This transaction required absolute TRUST & CONFIDENTIALITY; I HOPE I
CAN TRUST YOU ON THIS?
If indeed I can assure me kindly send me your acceptance mail so we can start.
Mr. Warren Hoffman