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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt Laz Whitaker" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2012 01:50:01 -0800
Subject: Can we do it together?
How are you today.
My name is Sgt Laz Whitaker. I am a war veteran with the United Nations troop in Afghanistan on war against terrorism.I served in the 1st Armoured Division in Kabul. Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from Iraq,i have been redeployed to come and work in Kabul on the platform of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and the European Union on the war against terrorism.
On the other hand, I want to inform you that I and my partner (Trooper James Anthony Leverett) have the sum of 16.2million USD, which we got from a crude oil deal in Iraq before he was killed by an explosion while on a vehicle patrol.Due to this incident,I want you to receive these funds on my behalf as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here(in Afghanistan) and come over to meet with you.Since we are working here on an Official capacity, I cannot keep these funds hence my contacting you.
I guarantee and ensure you that this is a risk free deal.I want you to know that we have successfully moved these funds out to Europe with the help of a Red Cross agent.
I just need your acceptance to receive these funds on my behalf and all is done.Since the death of my partner, my life is not guaranteed here anymore, so I have decided to share these funds with a reliable and trusted person than the funds being dumped at a great risk.
I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us as soldiers here in Afghanistan.I do not know how long we will remain here, and I have been shot, wounded and survived so many suicide bomb attacks thankfully, this and other reasons I will mention later have prompted me to reach out for help, I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me as soon as possible on my e-mail address which is my only way of communication.