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)
- "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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "David C. Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2014 02:32:40 -0000
I am David C. Lee, Chief Inspection Agent- United Nations Inspection Unit at John F. Kennedy International airport, New York- working hand in hand with Department of Homeland Security and U.S Customs and Border Protection. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from London, UK and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a metal trunk box weighing approximately 25kg 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 and also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.
On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain about $3Million to $4Million each and the consignment is still left in the storage house till today. The consignment are two metal boxes with weight of about 25kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective capacity: 110 LBS.). Approximately, the details of the consignment including your name and address, the official document from United Nation office in London are tagged on the Metal Trunk boxes.
Provide your name, phone number and full home address, to cross check if it corresponds with the name and address on the consignment including the name of nearest airport around your city and other details. You can send the required details to me by email for onward delivery. All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get everything concluded within 5-6 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery if you assure me of sharing the content 30% for me / 70% with you on my arrival to your house.
I want us to transact this business with you and share the money, since the shipper has abandoned it and disappeared. I will pay for the Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this airport to your address by myself. But I will share it 30%/70% with you. Make sure Respond to me via my direct EMAIL: email@example.com
Below is my direct telephone number. Call me as soon as you receive this mail and send me all the requested information to my email.
David C. Lee