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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr James Martin <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 12:23:18 -0700
Subject: Attention Dear Beneficiary,
Good morning to You My Dearest, Please let this be secret between us,
so that i will not lose my job, because, if the Comptroller knows that
i revealed this
to you, i will lose my job automatically.
I am Mr James Martin Bank Manager from Wells Fargo Bank here in
Washington DC, I write to inform you that Custom & Border Protection
have sealed a plan to
move your package to the Treasury Department which will lead to
permanent forfeiture of your $5.6 million compensation fund.
This is because the coronavirus pandemic has collapsed the economy &
every country is going on global recession which impose risk in all
consignment. It is pertinent to note that packages that are not
cleared within 7 days from now will be permanently waived & forfeited
& will be turned to
Government treasure. The only possible solution to your fund now is
the waiver certificate which will be an estoppel to CBP from further
forfeiture of your
package. To secure the waiver certificate, kindly send your full name,
phone number & delivery address so that it will be used to fill the
waiver form today.
As soon as your details are received, i shall proceed to secure the
necessary papers immediately & deliver your consignment without delay.
You can contact me directly on SMS or give me a call as soon as you
receive my email bellow is my cell Phone:+1(916) 352-2354
Mr James Martin Wells Fargo Bank Manager Washington DC.
I wait for your positive response.....