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:
- "clearance fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "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: "(JFK) International Airport" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 00:50:03 +0200
Subject: Re: YOUR URGENT RESPONDS IS NEEDED
Senior Officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport
Queens New York, 11430
Hello Good Friend
I am Charles J. Colocino Jr, A senior officer at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) New York. I am contacting you about an abandoned diplomatic consignment box and the x-ray scan report revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a metal trunk box which could be approximately a 12.5Million dollars. The box indicates your contact email address and the consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as MONEY rather it was declared as a personal effect to avoid interrogation. However, The Diplomat who was on transit to your location 3 weeks ago before the coronavirus pandemic crisis that shook the world fails to pay for the United States Non-Inspection and airport clearance fee to the US Customs border and protection. He abandoned the consignment and left without notifying the authority anything of his arrival for declaration of clearance. To confirm you as the authentic beneficiary, do send me
Your full name
Yome home address
However, I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about this abandoned box so that we can transact this as a deal and share the total money 70% for you and 30% for me. My main purpose of contacting you is that The U.S. Customs Border and Protection are on clearance for some abandoned beneficiaries consignment to be listed among the list of consignment boxes that will be confiscated and get transfer to the US Treasury storage facility base on the newly elected president Joe Biden new administration is working on to balance the states economic crisis. However, I want both of us to transact this as a deal all I want is your trust as the arrangement for the box to be delivered to you which can be concluded within 4-6 hours after confirmation is made and upon your acceptance and willingness to co-operate.
I will appreciate it if we can keep this deal confidential. Please get back to me via this email for further directives: You can not call me on my telephone number, for now, to avoid exposing me more. Send your response to my private email. ( email@example.com )
Mr. Charles J. Colocino Jr.
my address: firstname.lastname@example.org