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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "the 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)
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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: "Kenneth Mobutu" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 08:17:22 -0700
Subject: Your Assistance Is Needed
My name is Kenneth Mobutu the grand son of Mobutu Sese Seko, past President and Army Chief of Democratic Republic of Congo.
I'm now exile in Ghana as a result of the war and political instability in my country, I'm writing this believing that you are a man with integrity and with fear of God to have a joint venture with you in an investment in your country, My funds and assets are in China, Dubai and Ghana, my mum who has been very useful for the securing of the funds sadly pasted away in Malaysia 3 weeks ago, her death has brought a lot of pain in my heart and my life because she was my closest friend and we had a lot still to accomplish before the news of her death in Malaysia, she traveled to Malaysia with $5 million UNITED STATES DOLLARS in search of foreign investor.
PRESENTLY, I have $45 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS at the office of the united nation in china.
ALSO, I have presently 1.2 million USD plus 25 kg of Gold Dust Presently at the Dubai airport waiting for collection. The shipment was made by British Air cargo, In this email I attach, The Airway bill, And also I attach the Assay report from the Ghana Geological Survey Department, Bank A2form from Bank of Ghana and certificate of Origin.
I have also attached my I.D card, birth certificate and airway bill and certificate of origin for the delivery of my consignment to you in your country without any hitches.
Sir, I contacted you for this transaction with hope that you will keep my secret and be loyal during the transaction with the diplomat who is coming with the consignment to you in your country, because I'm presently not a free man as a result of the war in my country and I'm in exile in Ghana.
For this reason, you should keep my secret and co-operate with the diplomat, as I may not like a third ear to hear or know of this huge sum which by Gods grace will be kept in your care.
Sir, as a man of trust, you most know that there would be some little scarifies which you may perform, that is by your effort in contacting me and the diplomat always.
My proposal before you is based on principle of a good agreement environment where I can move to your country to join you and complete all necessary procedure as soon as you receive the funds in cash from the diplomat. I will leave Africa to your country for the investment.
My purpose of contacting you, was to direct me as I believe you are a true fearful man of God that I can entrust my money into your care. You should know by now that I am in asylum otherwise known as exile, if not so you would not spend any money on such project, get back to me urgently.
Thanks with regard.
Thank you and God Bless you