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)
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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)
- "prepared to give you 30% " (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Master Richard Tagro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 01:20:31 -0700
Subject: Richard Tagro!
I am Master Richard Tagro the only son of late Mr Desire Asségnini Tagro The former Interior minister in Laurent Gbagbos government, Desire Tagro died on Tuesday of shrapnel wounds sustained when members of the Republican Forces stormed the presidential palace to arrest Mr. Gbagbo on April 12, 2011.
You can find out this on the web page Ivory Coast arrest of the former president Laurent Gbagbo
He was the acting Minister of Interior in the government that was formed following that agreement before his appointment in the aftermath of the 28 November postelection crisis as the general secretary of the presidency.
I want to transfer this Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand US dollars (US$17,500,000) left in a fixed/ suspense Account in one of the Prime banks here by my late father. According to the bank i am the only person that can direct them on where and when make the transfer.
I am looking for a God fearing person to help me. I want to transfer this money and use it for investment purpose
such as Real Estate management.
I am honorably seeking your assistance in the following ways:-
1) To serve as a guardian.
2) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education.
3) To help me invest the money in a profitable ventures.
I am only 20years old and I am prepared to give you 30% percent of the total amount, as commission for assisting me and 5% for expenses that will be incurred.
Master Richard Tagro