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)
- "my direct telephone number" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- "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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "David C. Lee" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 08:27:10 +0100
Subject: Dear Owner,
DAVID CARL LEE
J.F Kennedy International Airport New York
Phone Number : (315)712 2995
I am David C. Lee, Chief Inspection Agent- United Nations Inspection
Unit at John F. Kennedy International airport, New York- working hand
in hand with Department of Homeland Security and U.S Customs and
Border Protection. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned
shipment from a Diplomat from Africa and when scanned it revealed
an undisclosed sum of money in a metal trunk box weighing
approximately 25kg each.The consignment was abandoned because the
Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money rather it
was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the shipping
agent and also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.
On my assumption, each of the boxes will contain about $3Million to
$4Million each and the consignment is still left in the storage house
till today. The consignment are two metal boxes with weight of about
25kg each (Internal dimension: W61 x H156 x D73 (cm). Effective
capacity: 110 LBS.). Approximately, the details of the consignment
including your name and address, the official document from United
Nation office in africa are tagged on the Metal Trunk boxes.
PROVIDE YOUR NAME, PHONE NUMBER AND FULL HOME ADDRESS, TO CROSS CHECK
IF IT CORRESPONDS WITH THE NAME AND ADDRESS ON THE CONSIGNMENT
INCLUDING THE NAME OF NEAREST AIRPORT AROUND YOUR CITY AND OTHER
You can send the required details to me by email for onward delivery.
All communication must be held extremely confidential. I can get
everything concluded within 5-6 hours upon your acceptance and proceed
to your address for delivery if you assure me of sharing the content
30% for me / 70% with you on my arrival to your house.
I want us to transact this business with you and share the money,
since the shipper has abandoned it and disappeared. I will pay for the
Non inspection fee and arrange for the boxes to be moved out of this
airport to your address by myself. But I will share it 30%/70% with
you. Make sure Respond to me via my direct EMAIL:
Below is my direct telephone number. Call me as soon as you receive
this mail and send me all the requested information to my email.
Phone Number : (315)712 2995
David C. Lee