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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 07 Oct 2022 00:07:35 +0100
I am Dr. Brown, retired Customs Controller in London Airport here in the UK. I got your contact from a reliable source and I think we can work together. I just retired this year. We have two boxes known as consignment which we seized lying down in my office. They are still under my control despite my retirement.
We have already scanned them, and found out that they are clean spendable American dollars, as a matter of fact. So I suggest to myself that instead the government will convert them to the treasury, so I think you can stand the claim, we will pull them out quite alright and deliver to wherever and every body concerned will have his or her own share of this money. Take note, this is risk free. We are talking of US$75 Million U.S Dollars , So this is a big deal, not a child's play. And please we don't want any exposure since we are the government, this should be between you and me only.
If you accept this proposal, I will tell you what to do and how to go about it. Please you can send me your full details, including your Full names, cell phone number and contact email. I repeat , this is a big deal and keep it very confidential. Especially here in my country.
Finally, the mode of sharing can be discussed after your response. God bless you .. awaiting your urgent response.