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"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:

Fraud email example:

From: "U.S Customs and Border Protection" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2019 14:15:03 -0800
Subject: U.S Customs and Border Protection

From the desk of Mr Smith John
U.S Customs and Border Protection


My name is Mr Smith John from Florida. I am writing to let you Know that we received several consignment boxes and packages containing ATM cards, checks and some other items signed and Approved by the United Nations with some people's names/inscription on them.
Among the consignment boxes / packages that are still in our custody, your name was included on them. Others are from our New York branch, sent to our office here in our branch for our office to make clarification that you received your consignment box.
Two days ago (Mrs Susan Brown) sent to us a message stating that she was a family member of yours and she also said that you are no more alive and she made us to understand that you handed over your belongings to her when you were still alive. Now, she is demanding from our office that the consignment box should be released to her as your next of kin but we are still waiting to see if you will respond to this email within two days as (HOME LAND SECURITY REVENUE)(FBI) AND UNITED NATIONS) has warned us to be very careful in our dealings with you and that was the reason we ignored the message from Mrs Susan Brown but still awaiting to see if you will respond to this alert message for us to be sure that you are still alive before we let you know the next line of action and the best way you can receive your consignment box without any more delay on it.

Waiting for your response.


Smith John
Customs Department Director
U.S Customs and Border Protection

Anti-fraud resources: