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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- "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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Richard" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 09:40:59 -0700
Subject: WRITE ME BACK
I send you this mail not in confidence or trust in you but i do it with faith believing you will not let me down or run away as i have no other option than to do this, it is by faith that i disclose my identity to you, I am Richard Kibaki Ozulu jr son and only existing family member of the late influential solid mineral miner in Sudan Martin Kibaki Ozulu, who was assassinated by the opposition party late June 2008 at our home town, days before the war started at our home town.
My father started making arrangements for our family to be in place safe, because of the war he cleared his account of 7 million united states dollar and transferred it in safety deposit box to a security company in Ghana through a diplomatic service, hoping we were going to arrive Ghana, Our passports got delayed so we stayed back, my dear father and sister were brutally murdered in one of the attacks my mother could not take the shock she died 4 days after we arrived Ghana as refugees; before my mommy died she gave me all the documents and information of the company where my late father deposited the money.
After a months of my mommy's death i went to the company to retrieve the consignment but the company refused to release it to me because late father deposited the consignment in care of a foreign beneficiary who supposedly was his business partner, i am requesting that you be my investor and help me claim the box where the money is contained and for helping me stand as the foreign beneficiary i am willing to give you 15 percent of the total amount.
Please help everything around me has finished, no one is offering me a good job, the money is my only hope and even with it, i do not know what to do, please i beg of you to care of me like i am your own child and help so I can come.
when you retrieve the box where the money is contained as i need your assistance to help me move the money out for investment in housing in your country. By this mail I am requesting that you contact the company and retrieve the consignment for investment. If you can handle this for me please give me your email, address and phone number and i will send you all the information you need to contact the company, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org