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)
- "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)
- "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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. David Wilson" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2016 04:52:02 -0700
Subject: TREAT AS URGENT
From: Mr. David Wilson
Director Inspection Unit
Airport, Atlanta Georgia United-States
Regional Division Shipment
Officer, Atlanta Georgia.
I am Mr. David Wilson, Head Officer-in-Charge, and Administrative Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, Georgia. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment through a Diplomat from United Kingdom which was transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to our facility here in Atlanta, and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately 130kg each.
The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping Agent or confiscation by the relevant authorities. The diplomat's inability to pay for Non Inspection fees among other things are the reason why the consignment is delayed and abandoned.
By my assessment, each of the boxes contains about $4M or more. They are still left in the airport storage facility till today. The Consignments like I said are two metal trunk boxes weighing about 65kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm) effective capacity: 680 L) Approximately. The details of the consignment including your name and email on the official document from United Nations' office in London where the shipment was tagged as personal effects/classified document is still available with us. As it stands now, you have to reconfirm your full name, Phone Number, full address so I can cross-check and see if it corresponds with the one on the official documents. It is now left to you to decide if you still need the consignment or allow us repatriate it back to UK (place of origin) as we were instructed.
(REPLY TO THIS EMAIL: email@example.com)
As I did say again, the shipper abandoned it and ran away most importantly because he gave a false declaration, he could not pay for the yellow tag, he could not secure a valid non inspection document(s), etc. I am ready to assist you in any way I can for you to get back this packages provided you will also give me something out of it (financial gratification). You can either come in person, or you engage the services of a secure shipping/delivery Company/agent that will provide the necessary security that is required to deliver the package to your doorstep or the destination of your choice. I need the entire guarantee that I can get from you before I can get involved in this project.
Please reply this email strictly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. David Wilson
Administrative Service Inspection Unit