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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alexander Oliver" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2016 10:49:26 -0400
Subject: TREAT URGENT
From: Mr. Alexander Oliver
Director Inspection Unit
Atlantic City International Airport
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
United States Of America
I am Mr. Alexander Oliver, Head Officer-in-Charge, and Administrative
Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency in
Atlantic City International Airport, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. 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 Egg Harbor Township, and when scanned it revealed an
undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately
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
Please reply this email strictly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Alexander Oliver
Administrative Service Inspection Unit