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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("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: "Jefferson Joseph Patrick" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 07:21:00 -0000
Subject: Your Consignment Trunk Box
I am Diplomat Jefferson Joseph Patrick, from the United
Nations Security Council, UK Association and my diplomatic
mission is based on Inter-Country shipments of classified
items between North, South and Central American with other
European and the Middle East Nations.
At this moment, I am in Califonia Los Angeles, the United
States of America for a Diplomatic Delivery of a
classified material as requested by the Security Council
Members. However, I must confess that during my arrival at
the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a routine
check of all abandoned UN items was carried out with the
head supervisor baggage service unit at the airport
Storage Vault due to my role in diplomatic delivery
missions and we discovered an abandoned shipment from
Europe through transit at the London Heathrow Airport
(LHR) which from the Customs X-ray Ultra Scan results
reveals that an undisclosed sum of money in two metal
trunk boxes weighing approximately 280 pounds with
Assumptions of 5.5 Million To 6 Million .
When i check all i can get is your email on the trunk box
at this point I will not be able to receive your details
on my official email account. So in order words to enable
me cross check your details, I will advise you send the
required details to my "SECURED" email address which is
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for quick
processing and response With your Full Name, Address, Cell
And Home Number and closet International Airport.
I wait your urgent mail if you are still alive.
Mr. Jefferson Joseph Patrick
Diplomatic, UN Security Council
Private Email: (email@example.com)