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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt Ryan Mayes" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 18:35:07 +0800
Subject: United States Marine Corps. IRAQ 01
Dear Choosen ,
I know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence.
Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Sgt. Ryan Mayes, a US Marine Sgt. Serving in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment that Patrols the Anbar province, Iraq. I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am presently in Iraq and I found your contact particulars in an address journal.
I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of Two Million Nine Hundred Thousand US Dollars (2.900.000 USD) to the States or any safe Country, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies was discovered and concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam Hussein's old Presidential Palaces during a rescue operation and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us over the years, but now that and was kept in courier security vault for safe keeping.
Click Copy this link to get the full story: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2988455.stm
This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole in Iraq which you are fully aware. The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity)
I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, who before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative. I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up. I do not know for how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention.
This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help. If it might be of interest to you then Endeavour to contact me and we would work out the necessary formalities but I pray that you are discreet about this mutually benefiting relationship.
Sgt. Ryan Mayes:
United States Marine Corps. IRAQ