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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. James Bruce Luck" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 4 May 2010 16:02:47 +0100
Subject: CAN YOU FINISH UP THIS CASH TRANSFER
With due respect,
I am Sgt. James Bruce Luck, an American soldier in peace keeping force in Iraq, I am serving in the military of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment in Task Force 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Iraq, as you know insurgents everyday and car bombs
are attacking us.
We managed to move funds belonging to Saddam Husein's family in the tune of USD 15 Million Dollars in cash. I want to move this money to you, so that you may keep my share for me till when I will come over to meet you. You are to take 50% of the total 15 Million Dollars and keep 50% for me.
Please No strings attached, I plan on using diplomatic courier in shipping the money out of Iraq in three large silver boxes using diplomatic immunity seal.
The boxes can be shipped out in 72hrs,so If you are interested kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest including your most confidential telephone numbers for quick communication, then I can send to you the shipment details and the flight number and labels.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Sgt. James Bruce Luck