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)
- "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. )
- "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)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Suchart" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 14:02:27 +0700
Subject: From Mrs Suchart
My name is Mrs. Suchart Suwannee Chaovisith wife of the former Thailand Finance minister, who died in 2009 due to a cancer problem. View link for details;
In view of the recent death of my husband year before last, I am very worried over the political crises, and I have decided to contact you, to help me to move some funds to your country for investment.
During his tenure in Office, my late husband awarded a contract to a firm worth several millions of dollars a few years ago. In the course of executing the project the firm discovered large gold deposit in one of the construction sites.
Being the site director he collaborated with the firm in the mining of the gold on a mutual agreement to share the proceeds out of which he got a share of $21.7 Million US dollars.
As a civil servant in our country, he could not circulate these funds in our banking system here in other not to raise an eye-brow and also considering his annual income as well as the code of conduct guidelines regulating civil service here in Kingdom of Thailand. He decided to deposit these funds with a security company attached to diplomatic service under a false disguise as a family treasure pending when he get a partner overseas for possible investments.
Unfortunately, he's no more to conclude this arrangement because of his death year before last. Since after my late husband's death, the Government has resolved to illegally prosecute and ntimidate members of the RED SHIRT which is one of the leading opposition to the Government which I am an active member. Now as I am writing to you, they have frozen all my accounts and assets in Thailand. They are using the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to frame us with involvement in financial crimes just to crush our strength financially and otherwise.
I decided to contact you to take delivery of this money in cash before the expiration of the non-inspection yellow tag on it which protects the content of the consignment from being ascertained by the authorities. This protective yellow tag cost my late husband a large sum to obtain from the diplomatic service and I do not have that kind of money to renew it.
I therefore solicit for your co-operation to take delivery of this fund into your custody for any profitable investment that will be mutually beneficial to us. I will be able to arrange all the necessary procedures to ensure smooth movement of this funds until you are in control of it. We will discuss on the sharing mode for your assistance as we proceed.
Please let me know if you are interested by return mail and also include your full names and direct telephone number (Mobile) to enable me call you as soon as possible. I will provide you with more information as soon as you indicate appreciable interest to deal with.
My warm regards to you and your family. I will be expecting your response.
Mrs. Suchart Suwannee Chaovisith.