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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "HAJJI MOUSSA SAYYID" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 10 Nov 2019 21:51:59 +0200
Subject: Re: $10.5 MILLION US DOLLARS IN A TRUNK BOX. ARE YOU READY TO RECEIVE IT?
Reply To: email@example.com
I am Sayyid Moussa, am a businessman from Syria. I searched and got your reputable email from the internet by choice. I have the sum of $10.5 MILLION US DOLLARS in a trunk box coming from England to be delivered to my volunteered South Korean businessman and partner named Seo-yun Kim. Mr. Seo-yun Kim was to receive the trunk box in China where he had diplomatic immunity. Upon his arrival Mr. Seo-yun Kim had changed his mind on percentage from 15% to 25%.
I totally refused his demand because the purpose of the fund in the trunk box is for investment in the receiverâs country as I was willing to give him 15% as a motivation which was fair enough.
Now I have a âPlan Bâ to replace him and I want you to receive the trunk box as it has now been deposited with a bank in China. I urge that you take this opportunity of a lifetime by receiving the fund in the trunk box so we can invest in your country. And I am ready to give you 20% of the $10.5 MILLION US DOLLARS for motivation and 80% will be used to invest in real estates and other areas of business.
I want you to send me the following information;
1) YOUR NAME
2) YOUR COUNTRY
3) YOUR AGE
NOTE: My communication with you would be strictly by e-mail only to avoid wiretapping of my conversation with you. Please only if you are interested that you should contact me.
Hajji Sayyid Moussa