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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "morris dickson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 01:18:08 -0500
Subject: URGENT REPLY NEEDED
United States Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC,)
25th Marine Regiment, Al Anbar province, Iraq
STRICTLY PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
Please pardon the abruptness of this letter; it is due to its urgency. This
letter is personal, intimate and confidential. There will absolutely be
great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled
with the fact that so many miscreants have taken possession of the Internet
to facilitate their nefarious deeds, hereby making it extremely difficult
for genuine purposes. There is no other way for me to know whether I will be
properly understood, but I have to reach out to you for I know that there
will be one that can be trusted.
I implore you to take the time to go through this message diligently as the
decision you make will go a long way to determine my future and continued
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am capt Morris.Dickson, a United
States Marine Corps Special Operations Command, 25th Marine Regiment that
Patrols the Al Anbar province, Iraq. I am desperately in need of assistance
and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I
found your contact particulars in an address journal.
I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of US$5,500,000.00 (five
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to your address or any
safe country of your choice as far as I can be assured that it will be safe
in your care until I complete my service here within the next 3 months. This
is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels
with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam
Hussein's old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was
agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us. Please
click this link below as most the news has been carried out in the BBC
and CNN several times.
Click this link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2988455.stm
This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what?
No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in
this hellhole. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal
this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British
contact working with the UN aid here (his office enjoys some immunity).I was
able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.
He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it
belongs to an American who died in an air raid, who before giving up trusted
me to hand over the package to his close relative. I have now found a
secured way of getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up. I do not
know for how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 2
suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention.
This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out
for help. If it might be of interest to you then endeavor to contact me and
we would work out the necessary formalities as I want to resign from the
army and go into private business with you as soon as this deal is done but
I pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting
Please reply through email:firstname.lastname@example.org , with your full
contact address and telephone numbers for our efficient communication.
God bless you.
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ