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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Clifford Martins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2021 02:47:51 -0700
Subject: Compliments of the Seasons
Hello Compliments of the Seasons.
A Request For Partnership.
I am particularly happy dealing with a person of your caliber who knows
what international business is all about. This business is purely based on
trust and it's 100% risk free business and I understand your willingness to
assist me in actualizing this deal. As I told you in my first email, all I
need from you is a confirmation that you can handle this deal in question,
and then all the details will be given to you as we progress. My name is
Mr. Paul N. Adams, a Vault Manager with a Private Security Firm in Ghana.
Having worked with this security company for the past 18 Years with
dedication and having nothing to write home about. Hence I have to package
this deal for our betterment.
There is this UNCLAIMED Consignments/Boxes Deposited in our Company's
Vault for the past 15 years ago, and nobody has ever shown up for the
claims and collection till date. Having made inquiry and investigation why
these Consignments/Boxes has not been claimed by their depositors/Owners I
discovered they are late/dead for the past 10 year ago, no forwarding
contact Addresses of these depositors/Owners and every effort to locate any
of his surviving relatives or close family members proof abortive.
Few Months ago, the Management and board of directors resolved to dispose
All Unclaimed Consignments/Boxes that has exceeded the period of 6year
without it depositor coming for claims and collection be dislodged from the
Vault and disposed, So as to create space to accommodate incoming Boxes.
Actually, Many Consignments were dislodged from the Vault for disposal but
being the Vault Manager, I decided to know the contents of these boxes.
After scanning these few Consignments electronically, I discovered their
contents to be fiscal cash running into Millions of United States of
It may interest you to note that none of the staff or management of our
company know anything relating to this development till date, I contacted
you believing that you could be of assistance and help me to legally secure
and claim these Trunk Boxes from our company for further delivery to your
country. While I join you in your country to Disburse/Share the proceeds of
the Consignments/ Boxes 50% / 50% with you.
Should you need to see the copies of the deposit Documents covering these
Boxes issued to the late depositor by the management of our company, I will
not hesitate to present them to your perusal and study. Kindly forward your
full contact Address, direct Telephone, cell phone and fax numbers known to
me. I can guarantee you that if only you give me a chance and cooperate
with me within the next fourteen (14) working days from today the
consignment will be released and delivered to your doorstep in your
country. I know how to handle this and immediately after the completion of
this transaction I will personally destroy and delete every information
leading to the completion of this transaction. This is to assure you that I
will not leave any traces.
Paul N. Adams
Manager Vault/Storage Depart.