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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "demurrages " (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist 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: "Frank & Jane Kibaki" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 10:59:01 -0000
My name is Frank Kibaki and my Sister Jane Kibaki, we are Kenyan Nationals, but are currently at the refugee camp here in Accra-Ghana. Please I will like you to assist me and my sister to retrieve and receive our consignment over there in United States that contains some reasonable amount of value in United States dollars and some quantity of gold and Diamond, which I cannot specify. The consignment is presently in United States. The consignments got to the United States through the help of a diplomat in the Red Cross foreign mission. The fact is that he was supposed to deliver the consignment to a man very nice man who agreed to assist us as our guiding over there in United States. when the diplomat got to United States after clearing the consignment from the Airport, he call the man to make arrangement for the delivery, but response he go was that the man hard a fatal car accident which lead to his death. All the demurrages have already been paid by the security company, custom check report has also been p
If you accept to assist us in being our new beneficiary then get back to me as soon as possible to enable me furnish you with the contact details of the courier agent in California so you can personally contact him and forward your address to him for immediate delivery of our consignment to you.
We await your urgent response.
Thanks and God bless you
Frank & Jane Kibaki.