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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. PORTER" < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2019 23:24:00 +0100
Subject: AM SILL WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY
Iâm seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $4.5M. (Four Million Five Hundred United States Dollars) and (999.9 CERTIFIED GOLD BARS AND DIAMOND) to you, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until we complete our service here. As soon as you have the cash gold and diamond on your care you have yours and keep mine until we conclude our service.
I agreed to offer you a reasonable percentage (40%) of the total sum of money, while we share the gold bars and diamond 50 as gratification for your assistance and cooperation. Its $100 bills throughout and (999.9 CERTIFIED GOLD BARS AND DIAMOND) it's contained in Two Trunk boxes. I'm thinking of tagging the boxes as Swift Military Consignment/Courier with Vatican Seal as Red Cross container to deliver to your mailing address as Christian Artifact Material. It will be done this way to ensure a maximum safety and ship it out of Afghanistan through a special diplomatic scheme. Please respond as soon as possible because I don't like the boxes to continue to be here for security purposes due to the volume of Taliban bombings here in Afghanistan.
I advise you to please keep this issue highly confidential. Diplomatic shipment is a very secure and legal way of sending the Trunk box of money out of here (Afghanistan), Please do confirm to me if this is quite acceptable by you so that I can start making arrangements immediately to have the Trunk box shipped out of Afghanistan.
Delicate matter like this in the care of a stranger, but this is the best we can do in my present situation. I would have trusted this kind of project in the hands of my wife who was my closest confidant, but I lost her to cancer on 22ND April 2017 (9) months after we got married, and my only brother has ruined his life with hard drugs, these are the reasons I decided to work with a neutral person if we can establish some trust between ourselves instead of confiding in my buddies back home so that this little secret can be preserved. I awaits your immediate confirm of your willingness to cooperate with me in this project.
I am counting on your understanding and full cooperation in order to make this work faster.
United States Soldier on Peace Keeping in Afghanistan.