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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: "RICHARD PETRELLI" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2019 16:28:57 -0700
Subject: THANK GOD I FOUND YOU
CARGO INSPECTION AND TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT (CITD)
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)?
2800 N Terminal Rd, Houston, TX 77032.
Hello Email Owner,
I sincerely apologize for sending you this sensitive information via E-mail instead of a certified mail, phone call or a one on one conversation. I'm Richard E.Petrelli, Assistant cargo and transportation officer (Operations, Maintenance, and Transportation) here at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) .
Last week, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from London at the Airport's Vault. After scanning the luggage it Revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 110kg. The luggage was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as "MONEY" rather it was declared as personal items in order to avoid interrogation from the U.S Customs authorities. I also found out that the diplomat was unable to pay for the U.S Custom Duty charges which is $7,500 USD so i guess that might be one of the reasons why the Luggage is still left in our Storage Facility till date.
However, my further investigations revealed that the straight bill of lading we received from the courier company did not specify the beneficiary to whose order the luggage box was to be delivered to but it indicated the email address and the last name of the consignee (Receiver of the Luggage) that's why i have decided to contact you directly. Kindly provide your cell Phone Number, your Address as well as well as the nearest Airport around your city so that i may confirm you as the actual recipient of this luggage, i need to compare these information with the ones we have on our records. Please note that this Luggage was supposed to have been returned to the Federal Reserve Bank as unclaimed delivery due to the delays in concluding the clearance processes. Once I have confirmed that you are the actual recipient of the luggage box, I can get everything concluded within 48hours 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 luggage is because I want us to transact this deal and share the money 70% for you and 30% for me since the Luggage has not yet been returned to the Federal Reserve Bank after being abandoned by the diplomat. Immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead and pay for the United States Custom Duty charges of $7,500 dollars and arrange for the box to be delivered to your doorstep Or I can bring it by myself to avoid anymore 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 it if we can keep this deal confidential. Please get back to me via my private Email :( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for further directives.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
MR.RICHARD E PETRELLI