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 united states 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)
- "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.
- 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "NOAH TAYLOR" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 00:10:40 +0530
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE TO INVEST THIS FUND
JOINT INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am quite aware that this letter of offer may astonish you as it comes from unfamiliar person; however it is all about going into joint business relationship with you.
In brief, I am Noah Taylor, the Son of former Liberia leader Charles Taylor who has been sentenced to a jail-term of 50 years in Hague Netherlands on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. I am the fourth son and the first son from the second wife. My half brothers being the elder sons and of course from the first wife have hi-jacked all our fathers properties and investment abandoning my siblings and I. These guys are much older and have come of age during the reign of our father and eventually many properties were bought on their names, they knew our fathers secrets and right now enjoying all that belongs to all.
Recently, I managed to visit our father in the prison through his personal lawyer and he had an opportunity to explained what was happening since his apprehension , For the first time I saw my father weep, it was very touchy . He spoke to his lawyer and instructs him what to do. Later, the lawyer handed me documents that is containing a deed of lodgment. (Box of money) in a security company. The money in question is about US$30 Million United States Dollars. Presently we are living in South Africa as an Asylum as we are yet to get South African permits from the home affairs.
Please if your interested contact me via my email; email@example.com so that we can discuss the commission that will be suitable for you for your assistance as well to discuss on the modalities of affecting the transaction. Most importantly keep this transaction to your self till we conclude the whole transfers..
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Noah Taylor