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:
- "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. )
- "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 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Princess Kamara <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 2011 22:40:39 +0000
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANT ON THIS MATTER
Greetings to you,
My full name is Princess Kamara,i was born 24/6/1990 into the family of Ashida Kamara from Sierra Leone here in West Africa, i and my family have been unfortunate to find ourselves caught up in a very difficult situation. You may be surprise to receive this letter, but it is of ultmost importance to me and my family.
I am about to entrust my destiny and the destiny of my whole dependents on you, if you can help me, it will also be of immense benefit to you too. This matter demands ultmost trust, honesty, integrity and most importantly, It is only through the above that my family and I will be assured of our security. This regrettable situation led to the killing of my father and my only sister and displacement of my family. During the brutal civil war in my country, my late father of blessed memory was brutally murdered by the REBELS - Mr. Foday Sankoh.
I managed to escape to this country (GHANA), through the help of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Before my late father's death, he drew my attention to two of his consignment boxes containing $40.million dollars and 35kg of gold dust in the boxes which he smuggled out before the start of the war to a security company in Ghana,
My father registered the property in my name, he also gave me the certificate of deposit and some other documents issued to him by the security company, which I still have in my possession. The problem I have is that as a refugee, the immigration law does not allow us to open, hold or operate bank account in Ghana and I do not want to seek the assistance of just anybody for fear of being duped or defrauded of my only livelihood.
My father deposited the property in my name because of my future. I seriously need your help to move the FUNDS out of Africa because if I tamper with it here in Africa, government may seize it because of my age, I am 20 years old now, please help me for God sake. What is holding me here in this country is the funds, the life inside refugee camp is not easy, it is a very bad situation, hence the British Government and UN is not really taking care of us.
My late father's barrister and I have made necessary arrangements legitimately for the transfer of the funds out of Africa; only what I need is someone who will receive it in abroad that is why I contacted you.
I intend to invest the money on a good business, at the same time we will use part of it to assist the orphanage Children who are suffering, most especially we the refugees. I will be looking forward to hear from you, as I believe that destiny has brought us together, you will find the attachment of my ID, I need your urgent assistant on this matter.
email me back or call me on my number