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:
- "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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "u.k " (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.)
- "diplomatic non inspection" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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: WILLIAM MILLS <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 07:30:42 -0400
Subject: IMPORTANT TO YOU
I am Wiliam Mills,the Assistant Director Inspection Unit/United Nations Inspection Agent in
Heathrow Int'l Airport, London (UK) During my recent withheld package routine check at the
Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from Africa and
when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in two Metal Trunk Boxes weighing
approximately 25kg each. The consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the
consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as MONEY·rather it was declared as
personal effect to avoid interrogation and also the inability of the diplomat to pay for the
United Nations Diplomatic Non Inspection Charges which is about $USD3,800 .
On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain more than $10 Million to $10.7 Million each
and the consignment is still left in our Storage Vault here at the Heathrow Int'l Airport,
London (UK) till date.
However, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment as the
assistant director of the Inspection Unit, I will advise you provide your current Phone
Number and Full Name / Address, to enable me cross check if it corresponds with the address
on the official documents including the name of nearest Airport around your city. Please
note that this consignment is supposed to have been returned to the U.K Treasury Department
as unclaimed delivery due to the delays in concluding the clearance processes ,so as a
result of this, I will not be able to receive your details on my official email account. So
in order words to enable me cross check your details, I will advise you send the required
details to me for quick processing and response. Once I confirm you as the actual recipient
of the trunk boxes, I can get everything concluded within 48 hours upon your acceptance and
proceed to your address for delivery.
Lastly, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally
about this abandoned consignment is because I want us to transact this business and you will
settle me since the consignment has not yet been returned to the U.K Treasury Department
after being abandoned by the diplomat so immediately the confirmation is made, I will
arrange for the boxes to be delivered to your doorstep Or I can bring it by myself to avoid
any more trouble but you have to assure me of my settlement.
Sorry I have to withhold my direct telephone number and other information until I'm sure of
your cooperation. just email me and make sure you include your mobile number.I wait to hear
from you urgently if you are still alive.
Assistance Director Inspection Unit,
Heathrow Intl I Airport,London (UK)
Private Email:(William Mills