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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "registration 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)
- "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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned 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: Ambassador Mrs Mary Beth Leonard <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 16:03:25 +0100
Subject: Embassy of the United States of America
Embassy of the United States of America
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja.
CHECK HERE VIEW MY DATA:
Attn : Beneficiary,
Am The New Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard United State Of America to Nigeria
I Re-sum office MEETING ON TUESDAY as the New Ambassador I have to go
Through every Document in my office and notice that your name is involved
in scam list, which the United Nation has decided to compensate you with
the sum of $4,5Million through Nigeria Government and it will be through
ATM Master Card for Easy use.
I shall be coming to your country for an official MEETING ON TUESDAY and I
shall be bringing your ATM Master Card that contains $4,5Million along with
me, but this time I will not go through Custom because as an Ambassador to
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, I am a US GOVERNMENT AGENT and I have the veto
power to go through Custom. As soon as I am through with my meeting I shall
then proceed to your registered house address with your ATM Master Card
Without missing words, I am convinced 100% that you have had bitter
experience with various scams claiming to be high government officials and
thereby defrauding you of your âhard-earned moneyâ The activities of these
scammers have changed your perspective about conducting business on the
internet, and you now believed there is no genuine business that can be
conducted on the internet. Well, I am an American and the internet was
created by Americans for the purpose of creating awareness of your
products/services and conducting genuine business with ease. I am fully
committed to delivering your mastercard to you.
I am a full citizen of the United States Of America, but I was on a Foreign
Mission here in NIGERIA as a US Ambassador. Hence, I am making every effort
to ensure that no citizen of the United States Of America and other parts
of the world is cheated by Nigeria, Benin Republic. Therefore, I need your
utmost support and understanding to actualize this dream. I also want you
to understand that I do trust you and I expect you to show me the same
trust and respect in return since trust is a 2-way street. On the other
hand, trust is a relationship of reliance. Trust also means being able to
predict what other people believe.
Trust is both an emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you
expose your vulnerabilities to people, but believing they will not take
advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the
probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected utility based on hard
performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in
a predictable manner. In practice, trust is a bit of both. I trust you
because I have experienced your trustworthiness by merely believing in what
I have said, even when you have not seen me, and because I have faith in
Frankly speaking, I understand that anyone in your shoes will feel
betrayed, but I still want you to show me your trust by giving me the
benefit of doubt on this delivery arrangement. My identity and personality
is verifiable, and I promise to deliver the consignment to you safely
without any hitch. Your ATM Master Card ($4,5Million) MUST BE REGISTERED AS
AN AMBASSADORIAL PACKAGE as planned. Do not allow this mission to die off
because of $250 US Dollars for the registration fee of your ATM Master
Card, I meant so well for you and I believe you will appreciate me more
when you have finally Received Your Card.
I will use my position and personality to deposit the ATM Master Card worth
$4,5Million into your bank account without questioning from the financial
monitoring authorities, since all documentation proving the legitimacy of
the funds have been processed. Please donât see me as one of the numerous
dubious Benin Republic or Nigeria you have dealt with in the past. I am a
different person entirely and I come from a different continent. I have the
American spirit in me and I hate cheaters. I promise to always uphold the
national unity of the United States. Please reply back ASAP.
kindly send the follow details for the release of your fund to you okay
1.YOUR FULL NAMEâ¦
2.YOUR HOME PHONE NUMBERâ¦
3.YOUR OFFICE NUMBERâ¦
4.ADDRESS WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND YOUR ATM CARDâ¦
5.SCAN COPY OF YOUR ID
Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard