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. )
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Desmond Wanaga" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 20:17:07 -0700
I am John Desmond Wanaga, a cote d'ivoire citizen presently taking
refugee in GHANA. Due to crises in my country coupled with the
assassination of my late father Dr. Desmond Wanaga. Who was killed by
PRESIDENT Laurent Gbagbo war veteran association who are calling for
the white collection of farm land from all white settlers which is
wrong. My father due to his stand over these issues fell out with the
ruling party of PRESIDENT Laurent Gbagbo. Now my mother and my kid
sister had to flee from our country to find refuge here in GHANA.
Before the death of my father he was a major dealer of Diamond and
Merchandise. He secretly moved these funds acquired from various sales
in two trunk-boxes and deposited it in a security company in Ghana.
But at the time of deposit he told the security company that it is
family valuables that are contained in the boxes. The total amount
contained in the two boxes is $20,MILLION USD. Unknowingly to the
Security Company. Please I want you to know that when my father heard
of the plot by Laurent Gbagbo to kill him, he instructed the security
company in Ghana to move the boxes containing the money to BELGIUM
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, by DIPLOMATIC COURIER SERVICE.
But unfortunately my father could not escape out of cote d'ivoire; he was
eventually killed, though he could not claim the boxes before his
untimely death. The boxes is presently in with APEX INSURANCE & SECURITY
COMPANY WHERE-HOUSE,under the care of the DIPLOMAT that moved it to BELGIUM
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, but the DIPLOMAT or the CUSTOMS dont know that
it's money that is in the boxes.We need a trust worthy God fearing and
experience person that will help us to invest this money in his country
and take us as one family and will also buy a house for us over there
where we can live safely.
IF you are interested please send me your,
1, Full Names
2, Private Telephone and Fax number.
3, Current Residential Address,
Send your telephone for fast communication and attachment on my mail
are the certificate of my late fathers fund regarding to this transaction,
we are prepared to give you 25% of the money for your assistance and your effort.
We are expecting to hear from you soonest.
John Desmond Wanaga and Family.