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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "god fearing " (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "R T." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 13:09:21 +0200
Subject: Business Proposal From (Mr. Ramón Titov.)
I know that this mail will get to you as a surprise but it was due to a matter of necessity I contacted you over a business proposal which will be of great benefit. Let me quickly introduce myself, I am Mr. Ramón Titov, a private agent hired by Mrs. Inna Gudavadze, the wife of late Mr. Badri Patarkatsishvili, the Georgian billionaire who was found dead at about 10.45 pm, Tuesday February 12, 2008 at his Surrey mansion. He was aged 52, a month after running unsuccessfully for the Georgian presidency, was one of the "oligarchs" who made a fortune from the privatization of state-owned industries during the Yeltsin era and eventually found a haven in Britain, where he was recently linked to a possible bid for West Ham football club.
You can watch and read more for your better understanding in the below websites:
The entire family is currently battling with the Georgian and Russian authorities over his inheritance and as a matter of fact the family lawyer is in prison unjustly hence the reason why I was appointed to supersede their affairs confidentially. As a result of the crisis, all the family's accounts were frozen and properties confiscated except for a profiling cash amount of US$88.5 Million which the deasesed deposited as consignment with a European firm shortly before he died. As a private agent, I have been mandated to assist them in finding a God fearing individual to help secure these funds since it is impossible for them to go for claims as it could lead to exposure of the funds and further confiscation by the Authorities, for your assistance in embarking on this task, you will receive thirty-percent of the total funds once the transaction is completed. If you know you can do this, contact me immediately via my secured email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that I can furnish yo
Thanks for your understanding.
Mr. Ramón Titov.