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)
- "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)
- 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: "Charles Colocino" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 11:55:54 -0700
Subject: Your Abandoned Package for Delivery
Hello Good Friend
Your Abandoned Package For Delivery
I have very vital information to give to you, but first I must have your trust before I reveal it to you because it may cost me my job, so I need somebody that I can trust for me to be able to reveal the secret to you.
I am Charles J.Colocino JR, head of luggage/baggage storage facilities (Operations, Maintenance, and Transportation) here at the Harrisburg International Airport, Pennsylvania USA. During my recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from London and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 110kg. The consignment was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as "MONEY" rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid interrogation and also the inability of the diplomat to pay for the United States Non Inspection Charges which is $3,700USD. On my assumption the consignment is still left in our Storage House here at the Harrisburg International Airport Pennsylvania till date.
The details of the consignment including your name, your email address and the official documents from the United Nations office in Geneva are tagged on the Trunk box. However, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment as the assistant director of the Inspection Unit, I will advise you provide your current Phone Number and Full Address, to enable me cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official documents including the name of nearest Airport around your city. Please note that this consignment is supposed to have been returned to the United States Treasury Department as unclaimed delivery due to the delays in concluding the clearance processes so as a result of this, 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 private email address for quick processing and response.
Once I confirm you as the actual recipient of the trunk box, I can get everything concluded within 48 hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery. Lastly, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about this abandoned consignment is because I want us to transact this business and share the money 70% for you and 30% for me since the consignment has not yet been returned to the United States Treasury Department after being abandoned by the diplomat so immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead and pay for the United States Non Inspection Fee of $3,700 dollars and arrange for the box to be delivered to your doorstep Or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble but you have to assure me of my 30% share.
I wait to hear from you urgently if you are still alive and I will appreciate if we can keep this deal confidential. Please get back to me via my private Email :( email@example.com ) for further directives.
Charles J.Colocino JR
Interim Assistance General Manager,
Harrisburg International Airport Pennsylvania
One Terminal Drive, Middletown.