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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ted Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2013 19:31:54 +0100
Subject: Please Confirm Receipt Immediately.
This is to confirm that your consigned shipment of trunk boxes are here in
our New York United Nations Centre scheduled for delivery to you from our
You should as a matter of urgency contact me immediately for onward
shipment of the boxes to your destination from our New York Centre.
The boxes arrive the shores of The United States, surpassed and cleared by
Customs & Border Protection (CBP) as well as The Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) and presently being warehoused at The UN Center in
Please confirm receipt of this mail as soon as receive and forward details
of receiving address also.
You will only be required to foot the handling/airfreighting/insurance to
Thank you ,
Coordinator- UN New York Center
760 UN Plaza, NY 10017