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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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: Geoffrey Braimoh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 16:28:33 +0200
Subject: Dearest One
My name is Geoffrey Braimoh am 17years old ,i am only surviving child
of my Late daddy Dr Ahmed N'Dri Braimoh A citizen of Misurrata Libya.
my daddy was killed by the rebel forces loyal to president Gaddaffi
during the peak of the beginning of the civil war in our country
i am presently writing you from Republic of Ghana where I am under Assylum.
I am quite certain that you are older than me but that is outside why
the reason why i contacted you. I came to you because of your
experience in financial claims and transfer- I have an inheritance
which i found out after going through a WILL my late father kept for
me and i found out that there is some amount of money that is in USA
corrency which my Daddy write like this:USD6,800,000,00(six million,
eight hundred thousand US Dollars only) which in his will he said he
deposited it with a security company bank in Accra Ghana. I need your
kind assistance so that i can claim that my Daddy fund money and get
it transferred into your account for investment project which you
shall oversee and look after for me.
You will have 15% of the total money. You will stand as my guardian
and the beneficiary of the money fund in line with what my late Father
told the bank at the time of deposit.