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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i want to solicit your attention" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Agnes M Vaughan <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 22:11:54 +0200
Subject: AGNES VAUGHAN (US ARMY) 187.243/
Hello dear friend,
I am sorry to approach your privacy in this manner, I got your contact through a Trade directory and found it pleasurable to contact you for my partnership in this and I only pray at this time that your address is still valid.
I want to solicit your attention to receive money on my behalf. I am Capt. Agnes M Vaughan, an officer in the US Army, and also a West Point Graduate presently serving in the Military with the 82nd Air Borne Division Peacekeeping force in Baghdad, Iraq.
I am on the move to Afghanistan from Iraq as the last batch just left, and I really need your help in assisting me with the safe keeping of two military trunk boxes containing wealth from Iraq.
I guess I you can be trusted; I will explain further when I get a response from you. Please reply to me immediately if you want to help me with your full contact information such as your full name, home address, phone number and a scan copy of your identification.
Reply immediately for it is an urgent matter. Kindly delete this mail if you are not interested. Thank you.
Capt. Agnes M Vaughan