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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dave West" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2013 14:22:55 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam, Need your help
I am Dave West Solicitor at Law in Madrid Spain. The nature of my services covers individuals,corporate bodies and institutions. I also represent Government Departments as an External Solicitor.
Prior to my explaining further, I must first make an apology for this unsolicited mail to you. I am conscious that this is certainly not a predictable way of approach to foster a relationship of trust but it is because of the circumstances and urgency required in this claim.
Meanwhile I got your contact through your countries public record while searching for a last name that tally?s with my late client,s name whence I decided to contact you for a business that will be beneficial to both of us at the end of it.
I am the personal attorney to late Mr Williams Margales, a business magnate who worked with an indigenous company here in Spain. Mr Williams Margales died on July 25,2000 in a plane crash along with his wife(Maryln)and James(son)Amanda(Daugther). Visit this site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/905308.stm Before the catastrophe, He deposited One Trunk Box/Diplomatic Personal Treasure, containing the sum of (?17,500,000.00) (SEVENTEEN MILLION,FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND EUROS ONLY) with a private Security Company here in Spain, for security and personal reasons he did not disclose the exact content of the deposited diplomatic box to the SAFE HOUSE.
As the personal attorney/trustee to my late client, the security company has mandated me to present a member of his family (heir/inheritor) to make Claims or the vault will be confiscated and taken to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security as unclaimed.
After every exhaustive efforts of search for a direct family member of my late client proves abortive, I have been given another ultimatum to look for any of his business associate/partner to come for the claim of this consignment/trunk box or have the Vault liquidated and made unserviceable in accordance with existing laws.
Against this backdrop, my suggestion to you is that I will like to present you as my late client`s next of kin/business associate.
I know you may not in anyway related to what we are talking about but having having in possession of every document related to this deposit coupled with the modalities I have in place, be rest assured that if you follow my instruction and directives strictly (The rule of laws) and capitalizing of some judicial loop holes, the vault will be release to us. Mind you that this transaction is 100% risk free, there is no atom of risk connected to this because I have worked out all modalities to complete the operation effectively.
Once the consignment (vault) is released to you, we shall divide the content in the ratio of 50/ 50% .Note, all legal documents to back up your claim as my client's business partner will be provided by me. I will be obliged to give you further information you may need to know as soon as i receive a positive response from you. Feel free to contact me through my Email: email@example.com
Please be kind to get back to me even when you are not willing to collaborate with me so that I can further my search for another partner.
I wait to hear from you.