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:
- "mtcn" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Faith Jordan" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 02:15:14 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Beneficiary Anthony,!!!!!
Without mincing words, I am convinced 100% that you have had bitter experience with various 'scammers' claiming to be high government officials and thereby defrauding you of your 'hard-earned money'. The actitivies of these scammers has changed your perspective about conducting business on the internet, and you now believed there is no genuine business that can be conducted on the internet. Well, I am an American and the internet was created by Americans for the purpose of creating awareness for your products/services and conducting genuine business with ease.
I am fully committed to deliver the "diplomatic consignment" to you in the United States in order to differentiate myself from the many Benin Republic you have dealt with. I am a full citizen of the United States, but I was on a Foreign Mission here in Benin as a US Ambassador. Hence, I am making every efforts to ensure that no citizen of the United States is cheated by Benin Repulic. Therefore, I need your utmost support and understanding to actualize this dream. I also want you to understand that I do trust you and I expect you to show me the same trust and respect in return since trust is a 2-way street. On the other hand, trust is a relationship of reliance. Trust also means being able to predict what other people will do and what situations will occur.
Trust is both an emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you expose your vulnerabilities to people, but believing they will not take advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected utility based on hard performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in a predictable manner. In practice, trust is a bit of both. I trust you because I have experienced your trustworthiness by merely believing in what I have said, even when you have not seen me, and because I have faith in human nature.
Frankly speaking, I understand that anyone in your shoes will feel betrayed, but I still want you to show me your trust by giving me the benefit of doubt on this transfer arrangement. My identity and personality is verifiable, and I promise to release the fund to you in the United States without any hitch. Please do not allow this mission to die off because of $85.00 dollars. I meant so well for you and I believe you will appreciate me more when you have finally received your partial payment of $1.5 million dollars in United States. I will use my position and personality to deposit the $1.5 million dollars into your bank account in the United States without questioning from the financial monitoring authourities, since all documentations proving the legitimacy of the funds has been processed.
Please don't see me as one of the numerous dubious Benin republic you have dealt with in the past. I am a different person entirely and I come from a different continent. I have the American spirit in me and I hate cheaters.
The information you will use to send the $85.00 is below :
Receiver Name---------Faith Jordan
Address------------ Benin Republic
City----------------- Porto Novo
Text Q --------------- Pet
Amount to be sent-------------- $85.00
I promise to always uphold the national unity of the United States. Please reply back asap and let me know your possibility of sending the $85.00 dollars today.