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:
- "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)
- "former president of liberia" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Raymond Taylor <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 16:19:51 -0700
Subject: Your Urgent Response Needed
With all sincerity and humility it is with deep pains i write you this message of wishful assistance to my predicament.
I am Raymond Taylor the only son of last wife to the former president of Liberia who was asked by unanimous decision by the international community to step down from the corridors of power .
I write you this mail under duress and as a result of my recent decision to better the lives of me. I have made a decision which i know might not be good in the sight of man but the present situation has led me to this decision to better the lives of me.Currently now have decided to make do with the sum of six hundred million us dollars(600.000.000)United States Dollars belonging to my father in which i am a benefiaciary,when he went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006.
On 29 March, My father tried to cross the border into Cameroon through the border town of Gamboru in northeastern Nigeria . His Range Rover with Nigerian diplomatic plates was stopped by border guards, and Taylor 's identity was eventually established.State Department staff later reported that significant amounts of cash were found in the vehicle.
Upon his arrival at Roberts International Airport in Harbel , Liberia , Taylor was arrested and handcuffed by LNP officers, who then immediately transferred custody of Taylor to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Irish UNMIL soldiers then escorted Taylor aboard a UN helicopter to Freetown, Sierra Leone ,where he was delivered to the SCSL.
I have decided to relocate with your assistance to your private account the said sum.My decision was reached when i could not conceive the thought that after the United States Government has promised to let my father go free based on the condition that he should step down Mr.Collin Powell stated in a press briefing that he would be indicted by the court in Netherlands to face charges on war crimes,this is what led to my decision as God Knows that i was never in support of his involvement in the indecent maltreating of innocent people in Politics.
This decision is hard for me to make but i just have to make it for the sake of my me future.Currently the said sum was lodged in a safety deposit box in a financial company Institution which i will disclose to you as a matter of commitment to me and this plea for assistance. I currently have the deposit certificate and can draw up a change of beneficiary mandate to effect you as the beneficiary to the funds.
I am a trained economist by profession and it is in this line that i will want you to take note that your services for assisting me will be compensated to the best of my ability.
I have this to look forward to so i would like you to keep this project close to your heart just as myself pending when we reach the conclusive end of this project. I will want you as a matter of confidentiality to respond through this mail and also include your telephone number as well so that i can give you a call if the need arises as we are currently on political asylum now in west africa. Once get your confirmation that you can be of assistance i will bring you into a clearer picture of the situation at hand.
I look forward to your response with great hope of assistance.
I remain Yours Truly,