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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Larry Jefferson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2019 12:43:54 -0700
Subject: Dear consignment Owner
I am Mr Larry Jefferson, Head Officer-in-Charge, Administrative
Service Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agency in
Harts-field-Jackson International Airport Atlanta, Georgia. During our
investigation, I discovered an abandoned shipment through a Diplomat
from United Kingdom which was transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to
our facility here in Atlanta, and when scanned it revealed an
undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes weighing approximately
The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly
declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal
effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping
Agent or confiscation by the relevant authorities. The diplomat's
inability to pay for Non Inspection fees among other things are the
reason why the consignment is delayed and abandoned.
As I did say again, the shipper abandoned it and ran away most
importantly because he gave a false declaration, he could not pay for
clearance, he could not secure a valid non inspection document(s),
etc. I am ready to assist you in any way I can for you to get back
this packages provided you will also give me something out of it
(financial gratification). You can either come in person, or you
engage the services of a secure shipping/delivery Company/agent that
will provide the necessary security that is required to deliver the
package to your doorstep or the destination of your choice. I need all
the guarantee that I can get from you before I can get involved in
Mr. Larry Jefferson