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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Capt. Stan Geisler" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:15:27 -0700
Subject: From Capt. S. Geisler 9/13/2016
I am sorry to invade your privacy in this form, please understand my desperation.
I am Capt. S. Geisler, an officer in the US Army, and also presently serving in the Military with the 82nd Air Borne Division Peace keeping force in Baghdad, Iraq.
I am on the move to Afghanistan from Iraq as the last batch just left. Can I trust you to assist me with the safe keeping of two military trunk boxes which I shipped from Iraq?
These two boxes contain a reasonable amount of United States Dollar Bills.
I will explain further when I get your response. I will need you to include below required information of yourself if you will be willing to help.
1. Full Name
4; Your telephone
5; A scan copy of your identification.
Please I need your response immediately
God Bless You.
Capt. S. Geisler