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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Andrew Scott <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 00:59:44 +0100
I am. Andrew Scott. Head of Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection
Agency in Houston William P. Hobby international Airport Texas. During our
investigation, we discovered an abandoned shipment through a diplomat from
the United Kingdom which was transferred from John F. Kennedy International
Airport New York to our facility here in Texas, and when scanned it
revealed an undisclosed sum of money in 2 Metal Trunk Boxes weighing
approximately 242.508IBS each.
The consignment boxes were abandoned because the Content was not properly
declared by the consignee as money rather it was declared as personal
Effect/classified document to either avoid diversion by the Shipping agent
or confiscation by the relevant authorities. The diplomat's inability to
pay for non-inspection fees among other things are the reason why the
consignment is delayed and abandoned. By my assessment, each of the boxes
contains about $2.5 Million or more. They are still left in the airport
storage facility till today. The Consignments like I said are two metal
I need all the guarantees that I can get from you before I can get involved
in this project. Please Reply this email strictly at (
firstname.lastname@example.org ) with reconfirmation of your Full Name, Home
Address, City, State and Telephone number.
Did you authorize one Mr John Walter, to receive your consignment Boxes?
Andrew Scott ,
Administrative Service Inspection Unit.