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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Capt. Bernard Himkok" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 23:08:07 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend Urgent ....
Wishing you a pleasant day. How are you and your family, I hope everyone is doing well, my regards. I got your contact over the Internet when I am searching for a reliable and trustworthy individual or company that can assist me start a new life and invest on a lucrative business. I am Captain Bernard Himkok Venezuela Soldier working with United State Peacekeeping Mission here in Iraq. Few months ago an American Solider came to me and left a BOX of his belongings with me and swore to come back for it. Unfortunately, he was a victim a recent Female Suicide Bomber that took away many lives and other injured.
I decide to open the Box as it was not locked and found out the box contains Six Million American US Dollars, which I have confirmed. I believed he got it from one of the Terrorist. I will soon retire, please my good Friend, I am soliciting for your assistance to receive the said fund on my behalf as my beneficiary. I will come to you for further proceedings in regards to our investments plan as soon as I am through with my service. I will not fail to compensate you with twenty percent of the total fund before any investment. You need not to entertain any fear because I have made solid arrangement in regards to the delivery of the Box.
Finally, I have been in contact with a Senior Diplomat working with the UN who promised to Deliver the box to any of my chosen destination safely and hitch free. Please if you think you can help me out, reply with your (1) Full name and (2) Telephone number where you can easily be reached and your (3) Your Address where the box would be delivered. Please tell me more about your self, what you do for a living and more about your area where you live. I will wait to hear from you. As soon as I receive your reply with willingness to help me out, I will proceed and you would be updated with delivery schedules.
Capt. Bernard Himkok.