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:
- "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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev/Dr. KENNETH KUYE." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2011 13:21:10 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: MAY THE GOOD LORD BE WITH YOU
My Name is Rev/Dr. kenneth kuye. I am a medical doctor in a private
hospital in Cotonou Benin republic Town ( West/Africa). I got your
email contact through a chamber of commerce website and will like to
explain to you about a transfer of consignment which I hope you can
assist us and which will benefit both of us.
I have a patient, a Sierra Leonia woman who was on admission for some
weeks in my hospital for an ill health. As a matter of fact, one night
this woman called my attention and began to tell me her situations, she
explained that she had to flee her country with her only son because
her late husband a military officer died in a rebel conflict in his
country and since then her husbands immediate younger brother had been
threatening to eliminate her And the life of her only son because one
Certificate of Deposit.
As a matter of fact, she could not bear it any longer and she manage to
flee through a neighboring country with the certificate of deposit of
box, deposited in the security company which was declared as family
valuable and traced in West/Africa, She confidently informed me that
the content of the deposited box in the Security Company was physical
cash of $11.6 Million (USD) and that the husband did it in such a way,
because the military body have once trailed the account of her late
husband in a bank and confiscated all his deposited money. She now
requested to seek a honest foreign partner who will assist in the
transferring of the sealed box (money)out for her, for an investment
as a life time insurance for her and the only son.
I accepted and requested for a proof and she provided the Certificate
of Deposit, which was clear and legitimate and is in my possession now.
I even made an enquiry from the Security Company here in Cotonou Benin
republic and confirmed that such sealed box was deposited. I have
accepted to assist her and to contact agenuine foreign partner who can
also consider helping as well.
She also promises to give us 40% of the total amount of the money if
we assist well. If you accept to be part of this transaction, please
donât hesitate to contact me with your private phone number for easy
and faster communication.You may also contact me with this E-mail
Thank you for your Cooperation.
Rev/Dr. KENNETH KUYE.