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:
- "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)
- "million us dollars" (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:
From: David Blake <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:50:42 +0100
I am D.Blake, a military officer in the U.S. Marine Corps on Special Force
Troop/Peace keeping mission currently deployed to Nigeria to assist the
federal government in the rescue of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls by
Islamist Terrorists/insurgents,also known as "BOKO-HARAM".
Kindly view the following link to read more of our mission here in Africa:
I really need your help in assisting me with the safe keeping of two
military trunk boxes which has just arrived the USA from Africa. I hope you
can be trusted? You will be rewarded handsomely if you could help me secure
the funds worth $28 million US Dollars until I conclude my service here.
All what I require from you is honesty and maximum co-operation which this
If you can be trusted, kindly write me back on receipt of this message and
provide me with the best telephone or mobile number and time to reach you
to discuss other confidential matter,thereafter on receipt of your reply,we
shall proceed with other arrangements for the smooth release of the funds
to you ASAP!
This is totally risk free,but remember to keep this information very
confidential due to the reputation of personnel involved OK!
Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.
God Bless America!