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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- 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: W/Captain Mary Okoro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 08:20:41 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: I SEEK FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
I SEEK FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE
I know this letter may come to you as a surprise but i believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends/business partners. Before Proceeding, i wish to introduce myself,I am W/Captain Mary Okoro, with the United Nations troop in Iraq, on war against terrorism. Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from Iraq come this year, I have been deployed to come and work in your country's military base soonest. Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states on the war against terrorism.
I believe you will maintain the trust and confidence of what i am about to reveal to you. On the 2nd of January, It happened that I went for this raid of terrorist here in Iraq with the men in my unit and luckily we recovered the sum of USD15.5 Million, because the terrorist keep most of their money at home for evil activities which they normally get through illegal deals on crude oil. Based on the suffering we undergo in this evil land here some of us do meet such luck. So I decided to take it as my share for my stress here in this evil land filled with suicide bombers. I deposited this money with the RED CROSS informing them that i am making contact for the real owner of the box. It is now under my power to approve whoever that will come forth for the money, moreover the Red Cross are waiting for me to come and inform them of the owner of the box.
I wish to use part of this money for charity purposes in Turkey, where we have about 3 million Iraq refugees and Sudan where we have currently the highest numbers of refugees displaced as a result of war. You need to visit such places. I want to invest the money on stock fish from Norway to this refugees because base on my experience on battle ground in this places,they lack a lot of fish and meat to add to their meager and unpalatable meals which they get in little quantity just to keep them living until God knows when the problem ends.
Instead of allowing this terrorists to get the money and spend it on purchasing arms illegally from Russia and North Korea it is better channeled to saving the world. So I need someone I could deal with on trust and that is why i contacted you. If you accept, I will put you forward as the beneficiary of the funds and transfer the money to you because as a uniformed person and I cannot be parading such an amount so I need to present someone i can trust as the Owner/beneficiary.
I am an American and an intelligence officer and I have a 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service. I just need your acceptance and all is done. I have all the needed logistics in place so you have nothing to worry about. Please if you are interested in this transaction, then, I will give you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully as all you need is to follow my instructions and directives.
I believe I can trust you. Where we are now, we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which are secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then I can explain in details to you. I will only be able reach you through email for now, because our calls might be monitored, If you are interested to work wit me, then let me know so we can proceed as time is very important to me. This money is my life and i am willing to give you 30% of the total sum when the money arrives under your custody. I wait for your response so we can proceed immediately. In less than 7days the money should be in your safe custody, and then i will come over to meet when we are out of the military base. Please in alternative you can contact me too via my private email account which is email@example.com
W/Captain Mary Okoro.