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. )
- "trunk box" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Philippines, Philippines; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- hear from you soon. contant me with this email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com all the best, kristine joy (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kristine Joy Garcia Reyes" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 06:50:23 +0700
Subject: I need your Consent
Surely, I know you will be surprise receiving this letter from me and transaction of this magnitude will make any one get worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day because this is a great favour from Father Almighty to you.
With due respect, let me start by first introducing myself properly to you. I am Kristine Joy Garcia REYES from the Philippines, only surviving daughter of Former AFP Chief of Staff (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and Defense secretary late Gen. Angelo T. REYES who died on February 8, 2011, though my late father lived a beautiful life, He was a good man.
My late father had special love for me, I lost my mother during child birth, it was like hell during my child hood growing up without my biological mother. I inherited a total of $ 21.4 million U.S dollars from my late father. The money was concealed in a metallic save and deposited with a security company in Europe, precisely Madrid - Spain.
For maximum security and safety of the money, so that nobody and no government official can trace the where about of this money, my late father deposited the metallic save (trunk box) with a secret arrangement as family valuables, meaning that the security company is not aware of the actual content inside the metallic save deposited in their custody.
I am the only one who knows about the existence of this fund of which I am the Next of Kin to this deposit. In other words, i have every right as agreed to claim this deposit when ever i wish.
The main reason i am sending you this email is because i the way i found you and perhaps trustworthy to give you this opportunity to help me claim the box of money from the security company as my late father's business partner, for onward deposit into your account for the purpose of future investment, so that i can continue my eduction in your country.
We shall discuss your percentage soon before we proceed. As soon as i hear from you, in my next email i will send you my picture, more information and also the Authorization document to contact the company which is the deposit document that was signed and issued from the company on the very day the box was deposited with a secret code for safety.
Please forgive me if this proposal offend your moral ethics. I thank you so much in advance for your kind understanding t help, as i look forward to hear from you soon.
Contant me with this email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
All the best,
Kristine Joy Garcia Reyes