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.
- 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. )
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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 next of kin scam.
- 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: "Gabriel Duffour" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 17:23:38 -0000
The inspiration to contact you is simply divine providence I am making in this proposition because I have to seek the partnership of a resourceful foreign partner to assist me realize this project. Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr Gabriel Duffour a vault director of a Security Company in Ghana, West Africa. I have an obscured business suggestion which I will like to seek for your indulgence and kind assistance as a foreigner towards relocating of some fund belonging to a late foreign client of our company.
I have seriously been in search of a trusted foreign partner to see how best we can assist each other in retrieving of a box containing United States Dollar Bills and some Gold Bars deposited in our company by a late Dutch Gold dealer who spent most of his life in Liberia. Late Robin B. Leider citizen of Netherlands had a fixed deposit with my company in 2007 for 24 calendar months; valued at ($12.500.000.00) Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) so upon the maturity date been 30th of August 2009 he did not turn up to our company for the receiving of his deposit nor for a contraction extension which prompted my investigation on his attention as the vault director but unfortunately I found out through the Ghana Death Registry that he was among the dead victims in the Gold Fight in Liberia. Now the company is looking forward to a next of Kin/Beneficiary to Late Mr. Robin so as to process and release the deposit to whomever I shall provide to the company as the beneficiary.
So I write to seek for your indulgence and kind assistance in the securing and the receiving of this deposit as the beneficiary to Late Mr. Robin since you are a foreigner, upon successful conclusion of this deal we shall move this deposit to your country through legal means as am in the position of making you the rightful beneficiary to this deposit upon your acceptance to work with me. I am proposing to make this deal with you for us to go into investment with the proceeds that we will realize out of the box. Please note that every piece of information I am giving you is based on information verified and confirmed by me before contacting you. At the conclusion of this transaction, you will be given 40% of the total worth of the deposit while 60% will be for myself. We will both join hand together to bring this deal to a safe and successful conclusion with our maximum corporations. Let me know if you can handle this transaction by responding back to me by email.