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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "storage 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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr.Moon Walker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Nov 2021 08:45:07 +0100
Subject: Re.Reply Urgently For Delivery of Your Consignment Box.
Cargo Unit:Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Airport code: ORD 10000 West O'Hare
Final Notice of Your Package In view of your inability to receive your package with registration #: CT8100AF , originally scheduled to be delivered to you by an agency, city express delivery (c.e.d).
This package in a golden metal box valued ($8,316,000 USD) (Eight million three hundred and sixteen thousand dollars) mistakenly arrived at Chicago O'Hare International Airport terminal 5 via British airways flight no.BA297 from Heathrow airport London sometime ago. The package with registration no,#: CT8100AF has been cleared by the USA customs and is 100% legitimate.
The agency, attached to the airport, city express delivery (c.e.d) who delivered your package to your address have just return the package to our storage facility at the JFK Airport, due to incomplete address.Please reconfirm these information's;
1. Your Full Name; .....
2. Your current address; ..........
3. Your phone number; ..............
4. Nearest airport to your location.........
5. Your passport id; ............
Therefore, I am writing to inform you that the days of grace has elapsed and we shall begin to charge the daily storage fee of $105usd only, and the fee will be direct to united nation head office Benin Republic. so contact MS MONICA JOHNSON UN AGENT, on ((404) 692-3483) she will email you the name to wire the money to united nations head office Benin Republic. Extension 21 terminal 5 or contact Email address:(email@example.com) to release this package directly to you.
Note that this notice serves as our last recovery notice to you as our department will be compelled to shortlist your package as an unclaimed consignment, and maybe forfeited. Note: Delivery of your package from the airport to your residential address is free.
United Nations Agent.
STORAGE OFFICER Terminal 5 Extension 11