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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. J. Samuel" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 08:19:10 +0100
My name is Sgt. John Samuel US ARMY serving the World and my country in the most honourable way I
know I can, in AFGHANISTAN right now, in a nutshell, I am an American soldier serving in the Military with
the Army 3rd infantry division. With a very desperate need for assistance,I found your contact particulars
during my email search and picked up courage to contact you for your assistance.
Some money in various currencies were discovered in a room at a farm house near one of Osama Bin Laden's
old house in Kabul-Afghanistan during a rescue operation, I happened to be one of the soldiers that led that
operation that day, so it was agreed by Col. William E. Cole the head of our battalion that some part of this
money will be shared among both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us saw the money
first. This was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risk we
have taken with our lives in this hell hole, my brother in-law was killed by a road side bomb just few months
ago, and I cannot count how many times GOD has saved my life down here.
Now i found a very reliable way of sending a trunk metallic box containing the amount of United States
Dollars worth Twelve Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars(US$ 12.5 Million) as you must agree with me it
has been hell on earth trying to keep this money safe from people's eyes for all these while and with this
opportunity all I need is just someone capable I can trust 100% I can send the box to.
So if you can assure me of your honesty I will go ahead and send the box to you for safe keeping till I am
back home and I will gladly give you 40% of the money.
If this okay with you please get back to me with the following so i can get the box across to you.
1. Your full name
2. Contact address
3. Telephone number
Waiting to hear from you.
Yours in Service.
Sgt. John Samuel