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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kevin Papah" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2010 03:08:33 -0800
Subject: From Kevin
My greetings to you and your family,I am Kevin Papah 29 years old, son of the late Chief.Kenneth Papah ,a famous diamond dealer from Liberia,a country in Africa.Presently I and my mother are living in Ghana.
I write you this email in respect of my consignment boxes that is in New York,which my mother want you to assist us,by standing as our trustee ,to help us receive our consignment boxes containing $20.5 Million U.S.Dollars, that was deposited by my late father under a security company here in Ghana,presently the consignment is in New York and Mr.Peter Williams, who was suppose to receive the box for us on our behalf is demanding 50% of the total Funds,which my mother did not agree on because that was not our initial agreement,for this reason my mother put a stop to the delivery to him,and decide to search for another trust worthy person.
We will give you 30% for the total fund involve for your assistance,because that was the agreement we have with our former beneficiary Mr.Peter Williams, before he later changed is mind due to his greed,Please reply to this email with your name and phone direct number,so that we can proceed as soon as possible.
Stay blessed ,awaiting your response.