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:
- "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)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Andrew j Savage" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 22:14:58 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: Very Urgent!!!
My Name is Andrew J. Savage, III, Senior Storage officer at Charleston
International Airport (CHS) SC USA. During our recent withheld package
routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, we had discovered an abandoned
shipment from one Diplomat agent, under shipping forwarder from
Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport to our facility custody here in
Charleston International Airport SC and when scanned, it revealed an
undisclosed sum of money in one Metal Trunk Box.
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 diversion by the shipping agent or inability of
the diplomat to pay for United States Inspection charges.
The details of the consignment including your name/address and official
documents from United Nations were tagged on the consignment box, Please
note that this consignment supposed to return to the United States
Treasury Account as an unclaimed fund due to your delays in contacting us
for the claims.
So i will urgently advise you to write back to me for further instruction
on how to claim your fund which await delivery at Charleston International
Mr. Andrew J. Savage, III, the Senior Storage officer at Charleston
International Airport SC.
Andrew j Savage