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:
- "00,000.00" (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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Clix; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt Herman Hansley" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 10:08:02 -0000
Subject: From Sgt Herman Hansley
>From Sgt Herman Hansley
Camp MXP-512 Third Infantry Division
Abul Uruj, Baghdad, Iraq.
I am Herman R Hansley, a native of Iraq. I am a Military Contractor with the America troop currently serving in the third infantry division Unit in Iraq.
I am currently on duty break. My partner Darren D. Braswell,36, of Riverdale, Ga., died Jan. 7th near TalAfar, Iraq, when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in which he was a
Passenger crashed. Braswell worked For the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, before his death We secretly moved some abandoned cash in a mansion belonging to the former president, Saddam Hussein and the total cash is US$20,200,000.00 Twenty Million two hundred thousand Dollars.
As I write this letter to you, these boxes are in Security Company as I secretly moved it out of Baghdad to safe place.
Sir I seek your consent to help me move this money to your country location.
You do not have to be afraid of anything as no one else knows about this and everything is safe. I would be pleased and grateful to you if you could assist me and my late partner Darren D. Braswel in receiving this boxes for us on your behalf as I will be heading back soon to camp in Iraq to join my colleagues. Of course, I shall compensate you with an attractive percent of the total funds for your role/efforts. We have limited time now as you know that our evacuation agreement is been negotiated by the USA and IRAQI government, kindly get back to me immediately.
Moving the funds out of the security company is not going to be much of a problem as arrangements are being made towards that. All I want from you is your trust,
Please get back to me with your full name
Contact phone number
Preferable without delay and lets negotiate terms.
Your response will determine our subsequent correspondence.
You can read more on this website for more information and explanations: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
Yours in Service.
Herman R Hansley