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:
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SGM John Dailey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:33:50 -0800
Subject: Private Mail
My name is Sgt Major John Dailey. I am here in Afghanistan , I came
upon a project I think we can work together on. I and my partner (1st
Lt. Daniel Farkas ) have the sum of $15 Million United State Dollars
which we got from a Crude Oil Deal in Iraq before he was killed by an
explosion while on a Vehicle Patrol. Due to this incident, I want you
to receive these funds on my behalf as far as I can be assured that my
share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here in
Afghanistan and come over to meet with you. Since we are working here
for an Official capacity, I cannot keep these funds hence by
contacting you. I Guarantee and Assure you that this is risk free.
I just need your acceptance to help me receive these funds and all is
done. Since the death of my partner, my life is not guaranteed here
anymore, so I have decided to share these funds with you. I am also
offering you 40% of this money for the assistance you will give to me.
One passionate appeal I will make to you, is for you not to discuss
this matter with anybody, should you have reasons to reject this
offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this
information will be too bad for us as soldiers here in Afghanistan. I
do not know how long we will remain here, and I have been shot,
wounded and survived so many suicide bomb attacks, this and other
reasons have prompted me to reach out to you for help. I honestly want
this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me as soon as
possible on my e-mail address which is my only way of communication.
Yours In Service,
SGM John Dailey