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:
- "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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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: "UK AIRPORT OFFICER" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 05:55:29 +0100
Subject: NEED A SOLID PARTNER AND PROOF
I am Frank Williams Director Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agent in heathrow International Airport London UK. During our investigation, I discovered An abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from West Africa under ship forwarder was transferred from west African Airport to our facility here in LONDON UK and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 110kg each. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.
On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain more that $3 to $4M each and the consignment is still left in storage house till today through a registered shipping Company, Courier Dispatch Service Limited a division of Tran guard LTD. The Consignment they are two metal box with weight of about 110kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 680 L.)
Approximately, The details of the consignment including your name the official document from United Nation office in west Africa are tagged on the Metal Trunk box. I will advice you to Provide your Phone Number and Your full address, to cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official document including the name of your nearest Airport and other details. You can send the required details to me for onward delivery. All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get everything concluded within 3-6 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery. But i must get assurance from you concerning my 50% before i will proceed.
I want us to transact this business and share the money,since the shipper have abandoned it and ran away.I will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this Airport to your address, Once we are through i will deploy the services of a secured shipping Company geared to provide the security it needs to your doorstep. or i can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble. But i will share it 50% to you and 50% to me. But you have to assure me of my 50%.
Below are my direct telephone numbers and i wait to hear from you. Please contact me only on this email address (email@example.com)
INSPECTION OFFICER UNITTED KINGDOM DIPLOMAT AGENCY