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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "SGT JOESPH MARTIN" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 04:27:44 -0700
Subject: US ARMY CONTRACTOR
Permit the manner with which I am seeking your assistance but I am short of options and have no other choice.I am Joseph martin from Denver(COLORADO), an army contractor attached to the US Military force in Iraq. The reason why I am explaining my findings to you is to seek for your assistance to enable you contribute immensely to the actualization of my dream.I am attached to the US army for the sole purpose of reconstruction work in some parts of Iraq.As you very well know, Iraq is gradually undergoing a rebuilding process in some parts and there is much need for reconstruction which is were I come in. I evaluate the level of destruction and offer professional advice inline with the way they intend rebuilding.Work has been risky no doubt and challenging as some times we are faced head on with armed insurgents where we lose some soldiers during confrontation. I have had my own share of losses as I lost a friend whom I have known for 12years.
On the 14th day of December 2010,at about 1100hrs during a normal inspection routine along Haifa Street where there is long thorough fare of high-rise buildings which were built and occupied by the late Saddam Hussein while he was still alive,I along with3 soldiers proceeded to a marked site and as I commenced evaluation work while i was closely guarded by soldiers, I discovered an unusual bulge in a cellar which i presumed to be a storage room.I decided to have a go at it only for me to kick the metal covering and find a metal boxes(6 in number)piled on top one another which were locked with a padlock each.
Upon forcing the boxes open, we discovered several guns, amour and some boxes amongst which two contained bullets, one filled with hard drugs(heroine)and the other two to my amazement contained some US Dollars which amounted to $23.5M after I and two of the soldiers counted them for about3 hours. I believe the boxes if not owned are linked to the Al Qaeda and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
I however instructed them to keep this in high secrecy so that we can have the money to our selves, they all agreed to the plan and we were going to get the money out of the country but first we had to hide the money in some safe and untraceable location. This made me to consult with a friend in our force who went with me and the two other officers to secretly keep the boxes in a safer place after which we handed over the drugs and the weaponry to our superiors.
I am now in desperate need of a Reliable and Trustworthy person like you who would receive, secure and protect these boxes containing the US Dollars for me up on till my assignment elapses here.We cannot afford to leave the boxes here in Iraq for any reason since Iraq is getting unsafe and dangerous everyday.
We have no idea what could happen next as every thing remains inconclusive at this point.I am fully aware of what your thoughts would be next which is why I intend to include my picture as well as my I.D.s for you to know whom you are dealing with.I assure and promise to give you 10% of this fund,however feel free to negotiate what you wish to have as your percentage in this deal.Please assure me of your keeping this top most secret within you so that my job would not be jeopardized.Please contact me through my personal email address below:
My Sincere Regards,