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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic delivery" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Henry Ajagbawa" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 19:31:08 +0300
Sometimes, I do wonder if you are really, really with your senses. How Could you
keep trusting people and at the end you will loose your hard Earned money, or
are you being deceived by their big names? They Impersonate on many offices,
claiming to be Governors, Directors/Chairmen of one Office or the other. Their
game plan is only just to extort your hard Earned money. Now, the question is
how long you will continue to be Deceived? Sometimes, they will issue you fake
check, introduce you to fake Diplomatic delivery, un-existing on-line banking
and they will also fake wire transfer of Your fund with Payment Stop Order and
even send you fake atm cards etc.
Anyway, by the virtue of my position I have been following this Transaction from
inception and all your efforts towards realizing the Fund. More often than not,
I sit down and laugh at your ignorance and That of those who claim they are
assisting you, it is very unfortunate That at the end you loose. Although, I
don't blame you because you are Not here in Nigeria to witness the processing of
your payment in Nigeria.The problem you are having is that you been told the
whole truth About this transaction and it is because of this truth they decided
to Be extorting your money. The most annoying part is even fraudsters Have
really taken advantage of this opportunity to enrich them selves At your
expense. Those you feel are assisting or working for you are Your main problems.
I know the truth surrounding this payment and I am The only person who will
deliver you from this long suffering if you will abide by my advice.
I also know that recently you have been dealing with people claiming to be the
EFCC. They claim that they are helping you and you forward all the fraudulent
e-mails you receive to them. At the end they do nothing about the fraudsters.
Soon they will ask you to pay money to receive a compensation of $1,500,000. Do
not pay any money to them because they are only interested in your hard earned
money and you will never receive any compensation in return, they will always
keep coming back to ask for more money.
Please I beseech you to stop pursuit of shadows and being Deceived.Feel free to
contact me immediately you receive this mail so that I can Explain to you the
modus-operandi guiding the release of your Payment. Do not panic, be rest
assured that this arrangement will be Guided by your Embassy here in Nigeria.
N/B: You are urgently requested to provide me with the following information
Contact me upon the receipt of this mail if you wish to receive your fund and
stop wasting your hard earn money.
Thanks and remain blessed.
Mr. Henry Ajagbawa