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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: "james michele" <xx@yy>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2021 09:47:36 -0700
Subject: Attention Fund Beneficiary

U.S. Customs and Border protection Enforcement
Office of Investigations SAC Offices
SAC Washington, DC
2675 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031

Attention Fund Beneficiary

We have been instructed to release your Consignment Box containing the
sum of $3.5million, that this Unit of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
seized, which has been in our custody for a long time due to your
inability to provide the Clearance certificates, which you were asked to
obtain from Africa where the fund was transferred from.

You were fortunate after our investigation last month the US Department
of States instructed that we should release all the fund that
U.S.Customs and Border Protection seized to their owners in this first
quarter of the year 2021, you are therefore advised to come or send your
representative to this office to claim your fund immediately.

You are advised to comply immediately, Below is the office address.
U.S.Customs and Border Protection.
Office of Investigations SAC Offices
SAC Washington, DC
2675 Prosperity Avenue
Fairfax, VA 22031
For more inquiry reply to this
Urgent get back to us.

Faithfully Yours
Michele James
The Executive Director of Admissibility and Passenger Programs with
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Anti-fraud resources: