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)
- "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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +447024053645 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. X" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2015 03:57:01 -0800
I am Richard D. Lenski, Chief Inspection Agent- United Nations Inspection Unit. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from Africa via UN office-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 photographic materials and 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 airport storage facility till today. The consignments are in two metal boxes with weight of about 25kg each. Apparently, the details of the consignment indicated your information on the Metal Trunk boxes.
Re-confirm 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. 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 if you assure me of sharing the content 30% for me and /70% for you on my arrival to your house. I will assist you by ensuring the boxes moved out of United Kingdom airport peacefully to your address. Call and REPLY only Email" email@example.com .
Richard D. Lenski