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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Gen David Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:38:28 +0100
Subject: I Await Your Urgent Response
Let me start by introducing my self. I am serving as US General Army and the commanding security to Iraqi Nation and also with Afghanistan as National Security Adviser to the Countries Securities.
I and some other high ranking Officers made some deal on oil business over there in Iraq before my exit to Afghanistan currently assisting Co- General Stanley Mc Chrystal. Presently in States.
The deal worth $55m united states dollars and after we have all share the money I later realize $17.5m which is my personal share of the deal, due to my status as a US General, I can not be able to move this huge funds to my country to avoid further interrogation or face any kind of probation by my country government.
I want you to know that I have make an arrangement with the United Nation Security Company in Iraq for the movement of the consignment to take this consignment to United Nation Regional Head Office in the Mid-East which was located in Egypt- Cairo.
I will offer to you 25% from the whole amount and we also have to keep a low profile of communication until we achieve our aims and ultimate goals.
Can you be able to help me receive this huge funds in you name? So that I will continue facilitating the process of moving the boxes to you and please note that we also have to keep this honorable deal a top secret because I do not want anyone to know about it due to my present position in the US Army.
If you know that you will work with me in one accord, then you are to send me your full Names, Home and Office addresses including your private and office telephone numbers. You are to include your age, occupation and marital status.
I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate your co-operation.
I await your urgent response as soon as you can.
Gen David Smith.