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)
- "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)
- "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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Wayne Mercer" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2018 21:58:07 -0400
Subject: GOOD DAY
I am Mr. Wayne Mercer a former US Army Contractor presently working as the Assistant Director Inspection Unit of Murtala Muhammed International Airport Nigeria. During our recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment left by a diplomat who was supposed to deliver these packages to you but failed to provide necessary clearances needed by the Nigerian Customs and when scanned recently, it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in two Trunk Boxes weighing approximately 25kg each. 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 and also the inability of the diplomat to pay for the Nigerian Non Inspection Charges of about $750 USD.
On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain more than $2 Million to $2.5 Million each and the consignment is still left at our Storage House here at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport till date which was delivered through a registered shipping Company known Courier Dispatch Service Limited a division of Tran guard LTD. Approximately, the details of the consignment includes your name, your email address and the official document from the United Nations office in Geneva and are all tagged on the Trunk boxes.
However, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment, I will advise you provide your Full Names,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 and other details. Please note that this consignment is supposed to have been returned to the Nigerian 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. In other words to enable me cross check your details, I will advise you send the required details to my "SECURED" email address (email@example.com) which for quick processing and response. Once I confirm you as the actual recipient of the trunk boxes, I can get everything concluded within 3-6 hours upon your acceptance to remit the Nigerian Non Inspection Charges 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 shipment is because I want us to transact this business and share the money together in the trunk boxes since the consignment has not yet been returned to the Nigerian Treasury Department after being abandoned by the shipper, so immediately the confirmation is made, I will arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this Airport to your address.
Once we are through with this process, I will deploy the services of a secured shipping company geared towards providing the security it needs to your doorstep or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble. But I will share it 70%/30% with you and you have to assure me of my 30% share.
Below are my detailed informations including a direct telephone number and my e-mail as I wait to hear from you urgently if you are still alive.
Mr. Wayne Mercer
Assistance Inspection Director
Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Lagos, 23401, Nigeria
Private Tel: +234 8130150505
Kindly reply to my private Email: firstname.lastname@example.org