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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Ular Kuma" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2010 23:24:34 -0000
Subject: Please help me,
Please help me,
First of all I will like to thank you for given your attention to read my mail and for your interest,I pray that my plan with you shall be of good success. Well, I will go ahead to explain little about myself, I am Miss.Ular Kuma and from Morovia Liberia in West Africa. There is crisis in my country so I ran where I am from contacting you today. I am 23 and was still in school when my parent and my only sister died , that was during the period when Mr. Tailor was president refused to step down. I am the only surviving child now left.
My father Dr Paul Kuma, was a diamond dealer and was one of those people who was revolting against the leadership of Mr Charles Tailor. One day he sent his boys to set our house on fire killing my presents and my younger sister .
I was so lucky to be in school then that was why I am alive today. I meet with our family lawyer and find out that my father wishes me a brighter future, he left in my possession some amount of money for my future plan and of his direction in his WILL . He made some deposit for me with a bank outside liberia. The reason why I am contacting you is to know if I can really obtain this favour from you to go into a good plan of investment in your own country. I have no idea of investment that is the main reason why I ask for your attention for your advise and standing behind me to invest my inheritance in your country. My father left Five million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$5.500.000 ) for me.
If you wish to be of this assistance to me, please do tell me more about yourself for me to also know you better and also your words of advise for the procedure of this transaction. I have made up my mind concern the area of rewarding you back with some percentage of the total money as soon as the money is been transfer to your position.
Note : I will enlighten you more about the position of the funds and the offshore bank where the funds is been deposited and is presently waiting for claims which i have already spoken to the bank director and he has assured me as soon as i provide a foreign partner of my father that the funds will be released to him without delays,
Thanks and remain bless.