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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "consignment " (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Flora <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 22:19:19 +0800 (CST)
Subject: From Flora James
>From Flora James
Actually I did not want to discuss this matter with you before but after fasting and prayer I just decided to contact you for your help, please I real need your help. I am 20 years old Girl. I leave with younger brother and we leave alone because we dont want the people who killed my late Father, to kill us too. I will be very happy if you promised me that you will keep this secret until this money arrive to your care in your country.
My late Father deposited one trunk of box with a security company here before his died and because of situation of political crisis here that led to war going on here in my country, we need some body that I will trust to come in and help me and my brother claim this consignment out from the company for the safety of my property that was deposited under there custody. Please I am contacting you for your assistance, to help me and my brother because we don't have anyone in here to help us and I don't have money to travel from here to any country please I need your assistance to stand by me and my brother and help us to transfer the box to our future investment.
You will contact the security company as Miss Flora James foreign partner who want to help me and claim the box that was deposited by late Father MR David Abe James from Republic of Cote D' Ivoire.My late Father did not declared the real content of the box to the security company officials. He only told them that the box is containing family valuables. You are the only person I have sent this message across to. I will like you to keep the secret until this box arrive your country.
You have to promise me that you will not betray me and my brother when this box is under your care.I will send the documents and the security company contact to you once you accept to help me and my brother.You have to give me your private phone and fax number to enable me to send the documents to you. The money inside the trunk box is Nine Millions Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($9.5 Millions Dollars).
I will offer you 10% for the total sum of amount, if you help me and claim this box from the security company. You will also provide investment programme where the money will be invested properly when it arrive your hand safely.
I wait to hear from you.
May God bless you.
Miss.Flora James firstname.lastname@example.org