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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. Anthony Tanney" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 02:00:01 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Your Urgent Response is Required(From Sgt. Anthony Tanney)
I am contacting you here based on Trust and Confidence.
I am Sgt. Anthony Tanney from the hospitality state (Mississippi), and of the US Marine Force on Monitoring and Peace âkeeping mission in Baghdad-Iraq.
On the 21st day of June 2009, we were alerted on the sudden presence of some Terrorists camping in a suburb not too far from Karbala here in Iraq .After Immediate intervention, we captured three (3) of the Terrorists, twenty-six (26) were killed leaving seven (7) injured.
In the process of torture they confessed being rebels for late Ayman al-Zawahiri and took us to a cave in Karbala which served as their camp.
Here we recovered several guns, bombs and other Ammunition including some boxes among which two contains nuclear weapons, one filledÂ with hard drugs(cocaine) and the other four to my amazement contain some US Dollars amounting to $23.2M after two of my junior intelligence officers and I counted them,which were later repacked in one big box. I however instructed them to keep this in high secrecy.
Now,I am in keen need of a âReliable and Trustworthyâ person like you who would receive, secure and protect this big box containing the US Dollars for me until my assignment elapses here in Iraq .
I assure and promise to give you 15% of this fund in this business.
Please assure me of your keeping this top most secret to protect my job with the US Monitoring and Peace-Keeping mission.
Sgt. Anthony Tanney