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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "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)
- 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: "Mr. James Dee" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 08:10:40 -0800
Subject: ABANDONED SHIPMENTS
I am Mr. James Dee, Head Officer-in-Charge of Administrative Service Inspection Unit United Nations, during our investigations I discovered an abandoned shipment from a diplomat transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to our facility here in Atlanta.
The shipments was scanned and it revealed an undisclosed sum of cash in 2 metal trunk boxes weighing approximately 110kg each, by my assessment each of the boxes contains about $4M or more.
The shipments was abandoned because the content was not properly declared by the consignee as cash but as personal effect to avoid confiscation by the authorities.
The diplomat inability to pay for a non inspection fees yellow tags or secure a valid non inspection document(s),etc are the reason the shipments was abandoned due to a false declaration.
I am ready to assist you receive this trunk boxes or visit our office in person to claim this boxes provided if you will give me something out of it as a (financial gratification) your full names Address Telephone is needed to start the process for the release and delivery of the boxes if your interested on this.
Mr. James Dee
Administrative Service Inspection Unit