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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Lt. Col. Eziama Thomas" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2018 08:06:11 -0800
Subject: [***SPAM*** Score/Req: 06.5/5.0] International Diplomatic Trunk Delivery
Your refusal to provide your International Certificate of True Beneficiary (ICTB) clearly shown that your claim of the long withheld $12.5 Million is fake. Therefore, the cash sum of $3 Million which is contained in the SEALED Security Diplomatic Trunk Box presently at Customs Security Vault at San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 in California may not be delivered to you anymore, UNLESS you prove us wrong.
Following the extension of my departure date as created by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the Nigerian Consulate here in California, I hereby write once again to inform you that you still have another few days of grace to either Provide your ICTB to prove your ownership and the US customs will release your trunk to me for final delivery to you.
I hereby repeat once again that if you never visited Nigeria and was not able to receive your ICTB as issued to all non-resident beneficiaries in 2016, you must have to send the sum of $195 ONLY to the Ministry of Justice in Nigeria to enable them issue your ICTB without delay which will in-turn enable me retrieve your Trunk Box from the US Customs Securities here and proceed to your destination for final delivery to you.
$195 USD is not a a big amount to prove your genuineness, otherwise, you have created the answer by yourself and name your status as a FAKE or WRONG beneficiary as presumed.
It will be to your great advantage to do everything humanly possible to send this $195 to Nigeria today and be happy forever.
I am still in California here and my two telephone numbers ( both US line and Nigerian Roaming Number are all active). You can call any of the telephone numbers for any clarification you want.
At your earliest request today, I will send you the details of the receiver of this $195 in Nigeria for your best convenience.
Till I hear from you.
Lt. Col. Eziama Thomas
Military Delivery Attachee
International Diplomatic Trunk Delivery
USA Tel. No: +1 (609) 630-4139