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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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 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 orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "From Ms.Miriam Senussi" <email@example.com >
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2012 18:20:34 +0000
Subject: Hello Dear,
Hello my Dearest,
I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow to seek for your assistance regards to my situation since the death of my parents, I know this letter might come to you as a surprise because we have not met each other or see face to face before. My name is Ms. Miriam Al Senussi I'm from Benghazi Libya, 23 years old female.
My father (General Abdel Fattah Al Senussi) He was shot to death by Islamist-linked militant troops within the anti-Gaddafi forces on 28th July, 2011 and after two days later my mother with my two brothers was Killed one early morning by the rebels as result of civil war that going on in my country Libya. I am now writing to seek for your assistance from Bamako Mali, where I managed to escaped to nearby country through the help of United Nation after the death of my parents, and now seeking asylum in Refugee Camp here in Bamako Mali.
Meanwhile, the main reason why I am seeking for your assistance is because of some Gold and money my late father deposited in one of the security company here in MALI in my name as his next of kin which amount is (Ten Million US Dollars cash) and also (50kg of Gold) he lodged both the money and gold in a consignment and deposited it with the company as family valuables for safe keeping. However, I have being advised by the Imam at the camp to look for a foreign partner who will stand as my trustee to claim the fund due to my refugee status. It is my intention to compensate
you with 30% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital investment in your country through your help.
Please get back to me if you are interesting by assisting me claiming the fund, so that I will give you all the details & contact of the security company where this consignment was deposited. Honestly i want the consignment to be transferred to your country before I come over to your country to continue my education, honestly I am really suffering since I arrived in this country, it is too painful, but i hope with your help I will have the consignment transferred to your country and continue there
to secure my life and continue my studies.
As soon as i receive your interest in assisting me, i will send you more details. In the light of the above, i shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction