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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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: "RTD GEN DAVID KOBINA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 18:11:09 +0100
This proposal is strictly addressed to you for your consideration and should not regard this Letter as a Spam Mail that was sent to you by unknown person
Sum of US$45.5m was sealed in Two Trunk Boxes and tagged "Family Valuables and Treasures" and was deposited with an Independent Security Company here in Accra, Republic of Ghana since 1999.This Funds was meant for UN PEACE KEEPING MISSION in Sierra Leone but was diverted by my Colleagues for personal benefits. Unfortunately, my Colleagues lost their lives during the UN Peace Keeping Mission in Sierra Leone when the Rebels invaded their Territory (Camp) unexpectedly.
Today, I have discovered the Secret Documents that will permit me to present a reliable and reputable person that can stand as the Beneficiary in order to have the funds claimed from the Security Company. If you are interested, we can make a deal and have the funds shared 50:50 without legal implication attached. Please send me your direct telephone numbers for discussion of this offer in further details.
General David Kobina (RTD).