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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MELVIN CLARK." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2010 08:51:48 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/ Ma.
I am sending you this email with the spirit of happiness and with great amount of trust and i know that you did not know me for any reason.
Am 21years old, my name is Melvin Clark, from Liberia . I am the eldest son of the late Captain Gordon Clark, the former Director of Ministry of Mining and Solid Mineral, Liberia . I am now in Ghana as a refugee in the Ghana refugee camp. Please, I want to confide on you to help me solve this problem, which I have. My late father deposited a consignment with a security & finance company before the war in my country, and when the fight was ablaze, my parent was shot dead by the rebels and I escaped to exile by the assistant of The United Nations peace keepings soldiers and we were brought to Ghana to seek asylum under Ghana Government.
One of my late father's friends, Mr. Yang Lee is suppose to receive the consignment for him in Asia, all effort to contact Mr. Yang Lee has proved abortive but I still remain the next of kin to empower a new foreign partner to assist and work on behalf of me, it is on this note that I am contacting you to please assist me to make claims of the consignments from the security company and help us invest the funds for the benefit of my future.
I have personally contacted the security Company and they have assured me that the consignment is intact and his ready to deliver the consignment to any of my late father partner or anybody I empower to received the consignment in any part of Asia, America or Europe as it was instructed by my late father before he die, now what I intend to do now is to empower you for the claim of this consignment on behalf of me in your country.
Please, this is confidential, and I have not told anybody before about this, the consignment contains 50 Carats of purple rough-cut diamond gemstones of Diamond Creek, Lofa County Origin and $20 Million U.S Dollars which according to what I see from my late fathers will, the money is two silver boxes. I count on you and i trust you because am sure and i have the believed that you can do it and be honest with me.
At the moment i did not have any financial power to handle this transaction alone and that is why am getting you involve to help me with one mind and solve this problem for me. I am sending this email on public cafe, I cannot say everything here for confidential reason, but please you can give me your telephone number and i will call you immediately. I want you to let me know how you can iron this issue out for me as soon as possible.
Thank you, with hope of your help.