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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "trunk boxes" (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)
- "million united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "John Waritay" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 06:12:55 -0500
Subject: From John Waritay
I understand that you do not know me, but i will use this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I am John Waritay, 19yrs of age, i am from Sudan and i am the only surviving child of my late father Mark Waritay, who was murder in cold blood with my mom and kid sister during the humanitarian civil war in Sudan.
after the death of my parents and my only sister, life became unbearable and frustrating for me to live. But with by the grace of God i have be able to survive. On one faithful morning, i went to my dad bed room and i opened his wardrobe, to my surprise i find a briefcase with some documents in it. A DEPOSIT SLIP of two trunk boxes of consignments, deposited in a private security company in ACCRA GHANA, which my name was writing on it as the NEXT OF KIN, and there was a writing note by my father that the content of the two trunk boxes contains $5,000,000, dollars each, in total is $10,000,000 (ten million united state dollars).
I quickly traveled to Ghana, i seek asylum as a refugee, then i contacted the security company and they invite me to there office, which i present to them the documents they issued to my late father. The director of the security company advise me that i should look for a TRUSTWORTHY AND GOOD FEARING person that can stand as my foreign beneficiary to clear the boxes for me, since i am a refugee because of the ethic of UNHCR
please i contacted you because i know you are someone i can trust and i know you can help me invest this funds into a good lucrative business in your country, and also help me to come over to your country and complete my education and purchase a house where i will stay as soon as i arrive. Please help me, and i am willingly to go into an agreement with you (ORGANIZATION) that i will offer you 30% of the total sum of the funds inside the boxes.
Please when replying, tell me briefly something about you and your family also, so that i know who i am dealing with.
May the good lord bless you and give you the heart to assist me.
I wait for your reply.