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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Spc.Nicolas Brandon" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 13:05:16 -0500
Subject: ATTN: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
I am Spc. Nicolas Brandon of the 1ST Battalion, 75th Regiment, currently Deployed in Afghanistan, after two previous Deployment in Iraq.
Based on the United States plans to gradually withdraw troops from Afghanistan, in support of The U.S.-led coalition plans to formally hand over security responsibilities to the Afghan army and police by 2014, I have been Approved for withdrawal to your country before the end of first Quarter of this year, The mission is to work with your countries finest military experts to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and the European Union on the war against terrorism.
But i wish to inform you that I have in my sight ,the sum of 16.2 million USD. Which was recovered from one of our raids battling insurgent attack, this people keep most of their money at home for evil activities which they normally get through illegal deals and donors.
Based on the suffering we undergo here some of us do meet such luck.
It happened that I went for this raid with the men in my unit and i decided to take it as my share for my suffering as a soldier here in this evil land filled with suicide bombers. I deposited this money with a Red Cross agent informing him that we are making contact for the real owner of the money. It is under my power to approve whoever comes forth for this money.
I wish to use this money for charity purposes in Turkey , where we have high number of refugees and Sudan where we have currently the highest numbers of refugees displaced as a result of war. You need to visit such places.I am not forgetting the displaced in India.
I want to invest the money on stock fish from Norway to this refugees because based on my experience on battle ground in this places, they lack a lot of fish and meat to add to their meager and unpalatable meals which they get in little quantity just to keep them living until God knows when the problem ends. Instead of allowing this terrorist to get the money and spend it on purchasing arms illegally from Russia and China it is better channeled to saving the world.
I cannot move this money to the United States because I will be in your country for about 3years, so I need someone I could trust. If you accept, I will transfer the money to you where you will be the beneficiary because I am a uniformed personnel and i cannot be parading such an amount so i need to present someone as the beneficiary.
I am an American and a specialist officer for that so i have a 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service .I just need your acceptance and all is done. Please if you are interested in this transaction i will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully.
I believe i can trust you. Where we are now we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which are secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then i can explain in details to you. I will only reach you through email, because our calls might be monitored, I just have to be sure whom I am dealing with.
If you are interested please send me your personal mobile number so i can call you for further enquiries when i am out of our military network. I am writing from a fresh email account.
So if you are not interested do not reply to this email and please delete this message, if no response after 3 days i will then search for someone else. I am doing this on trust, you should understand and you should know that as a trained military expert I will always play safe in case you are the bad type, but i pray you are not.16.2million USD is a lot of money which is the dream of anyone. I wait for your contact details so we can go on.
In less than 14 days this should be successfully finalized and i will give you 30% of the sum, while 70% will be kept for my charity plans.
I hope i am been fair on this deal.
Spc .Nicolas Brandon