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:
- "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)
- "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.)
- "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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "WINKFIELD" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:26:59 +0100
Subject: GREEETING FROM LONDON
FROM ROBERT WINKFIELD
8-7, Drury Ln, East London City Ctr,
East London, 5201
Attn Good day
I am Robert Winkfield, Director Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency at Heathrow International airport UK(London) . During my inspection duty at Airport,I discovered An abandoned shipment by a Diplomat from Africa, the shipment was transferred from Newark Liberty International Airport New Jersey to our facility in UK(London) and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 120kg .
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's inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.
My assumption is that the box will contain more than US$6M to US$7M 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 details of the consignment including the name on the official document from United Nations office in London are tagged on the Metal Trunk box. Please Provide your Phone Number ,or how you will like to receive the fund either through delivery or bank transfer and confirmation 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 72 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery. But i must get assurance from you concerning my 60% before I will proceed.
I want us to transact this business and share the fund, since the shipper has abandoned it and ran away. I will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the box to be moved out of this Airport to your address,. But i will share it 40% to you and 60% to me,you have to assure me of my 60%.
Make sure you respond to me via my direct email( email@example.com)
Below is my direct telephone number and I am waiting to hear from you.
MR ROBERT WINKFIELD
INSPECTION OFFICER(Tel +447430481892)