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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: martins luther <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2010 02:24:54 -0700
Subject: PLEASE I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP
My name is Martins Luther a citizen of Sierra Leone.
My father deposited 200 kg
of gold dust and a fund box contain $8.6million united state dollar.
($8.6musd) with a security company
here in Accra Ghana.All document regards to this consignment are here with
me. I have finalized arrangement
with a shipping company to ship it abroad where it will be refined and sale
and you kept this money for me.
and i wont to used this money to invest in your country.
But the problem I have is that I dont have any body who can assist me
receive this consignment because here
in Ghana before you can be involve in gold business unless you have EXPORT
PERMIT LICENCE AND MINING COMPANY.
But I have arranged with a mining company who has accepted to help me with
their license to ship the goods to any place of my choice.
I have also finalized arrangement with a shipping company who will
undertake the shipping process.
What I want now is for you to either come down here you see the goods and
we will finalize and commence shipment business.
And you assist me receive the gold and take it to a refinery and sell it.
You have to keep the money because my major priority is to come and invest
in your country..
All the documents of the gold are intact which I will forward to you for
Sir, I have the agenda to invest abroad. After the transaction is concluded
I will accept $9.000 dollars per kilo. Sir, what I require urgently is your
address where the shipping company will deliver it to you or at any refinery
of your choice.
Please sir, I decided to work with you based on the tremendous record of
your ability and
capability of your company in business management.
Sir, I am a good christian and so much believe in God as I know you will
handle this transaction
with the fear of God and respect to humanity.
Thanks and God bless.you.