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:
- "dear beneficiary," (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "lagos" (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. Elizabeth Sander" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 21:17:26 -0400
Subject: Be informed!!!
I am Mrs. Elizabeth Sander, 63 years old and a United States of American citizen, I work with heartwood furniture company here in Pennsylvania and my residence is at #875 Gail Place Lancaster Pennsylvania, United States. I am one of the many beneficiaries whose outstanding contract / inheritance fund were delayed for years by the Nigerian government despite the fact that I basically satisfied all the statutory provisions required for the payment of my contract/inheritance fund but the persons handling my payment refused to pay me, not after I have paid over $50,000 trying to get my fund but all to no avail.
It was while I was trying to get loan to pay a fresh bill given to me by the officials, that I met a top Nigerian government official and after I have explained my frustration to her, she advised me to travel down to Nigeria with all my inheritance/contract documents. She directed me to meet one Rev. Daniel Vosburg who she told me was the Controller General of Debt Management Officer in the Presidency, which is the officer in charge of processing and payment of all foreign debts in Nigeria. I listened to her advice and when I met Rev. Daniel Vosburg on arrival at the Debt Management Office, I was shocked at what he told me.
Right there in his office, he brought out a file cabinet, search through the files and brought out my file. He signed on it and thereafter, took me to the paying bank, United Bank for Africa PLC and within an hour at the bank, I was paid of my long awaited fund and today, I am a happy person having received my inheritance/contract funds of $250,000.00
Moreover, Rev. Daniel Vosburg showed me a comprehensive list of other beneficiaries whose payment are still lying in his office waiting to be claimed but who might be ignorant of where to receive their payment. That was how I saw your email address and thought that it will be good to email you and tell you of my experiences and how I was able to receive my fund.
Unlike me, you don't need to travel to Nigeria before you can receive your payment since you have known the right source. All you need to do is to contact Rev. Daniel Vosburg and tell him that you are a friend to Mrs. Elizabeth Sander whom you helped to receive her Contract/Inheritance fund and she directed you to contact him so that he can help you to receive your fund just as he had helped me. If you like, you should contact him direct on this information below.
Name: Rev. Daniel Vosburg
Office Address: 14, Yaya Crescent, Apapa Lagos Nigeria.
You really have to stop any dealing with any one that is contacting you and telling you that your fund is with him whereas your fund is not with him. He is only taking advantage of you to scam you until you have nothing left. The only money I paid at the bank was $180 USD only to cover the cost of Currency Marginal Fluctuation Difference (CMFD). You have to take note of that.
Mrs. Elizabeth Sander
Pennsylvania, United States