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:
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS YUKO NAKAGAWA" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 12:28:47 -0000
Subject: WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU FROM MRS YUKO NAKAGAWA FROM JAPAN.
Sorry that this message is coming to you at this time, I have prayed concerning you before contacting you.
I am Mrs.Yuko Nakagawa from Japan . I was married to late Mr.Shoichi Nakagawa, former Ambassador and former finance minister that died in 2009.
I wish to inform you that Im one of the earthquake victims that struck Okinawa Japan that injured more than 3000 on February 26, that killed many people. I and my little boy Samuel 12 years were the only surviving the ugly incident in our family.
My legs were amputated and am having chest pains, Im presently at a private hospital here in Japan waiting for a surgical operation. I and my husband were both born again Christian before his death.
When my late husband was alive we were both deposited the sum of ($15.2 Million) fifteen Million two hundred thousand dollars in a Finance Security Company in UK . Recently, my Doctor told me I may not last for the next two months due to my chest injury.
The director of foreign operation of the security company where the funds was deposited had promised to deliver the funds to any country of my choice with the help of their company diplomatic courier services.
I wiil be responsible for delivery charges/payment of the funds down to your country.
What I want from you is to help me take care of this fund for my little Samuel. You will be the overseer of everything because I want these funds to be well kept in your personal account and you will look for a very standard School for him in your country but I want to tell you that these funds are for Samuel.
You will open account for Samuel and deliver this fundS to him when he clock 21 years. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health as the authority of this hospital doesnt want any phone communication, they only allowed the use of laptop computer. The United Nation (UN) has given Samuel "Children passport" as he can enter your country without Visa.
With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the relevant documents that will legalise you to have access over this fund. I will also issue you an affidavit that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund in the Finance Security Company.
Delay in your reply may give room in searching for another God fearing person for this same purpose.
Hope to hear from you,
Mrs Yuko Nakagawa.