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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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: "Sgt. Paul Landrum" <sgt11@Military858.onmicrosoft.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:03:39 +0530
Subject: GOOD DAY
I am Sgt. Paul Landrum, A US Army serving in the 3rd Infantry Division in
Afghanistan responding to treatment in a hospital I want you to read this
mail carefully and understand it.
me and my fellow Soldier found over $900 million in Saddam Hussein's
hideout in Baghdad, we sent some back to the Iraq government after counting
it in a classified location, but we also kept some behind for ourselves.
Some of the money we shared among ourselves worth over $200 million, I kept
my own share for a while in a secured place.
I need someone to help me receive it, since i have found a secured way of
getting the package out of Iraq for you to pick up through the help of a Red
Cross Society or pilots that enjoy some immunities with us while in Iraq.
I do not know for how long I will remain here as I have been lucky to
survive 3 suicide bomb attacks by Afghanistan Militant until I got hit with
a bomb blast that led to my amputation of my left leg; i know this was Pure
Divine intervention from God that i did not lost my life.
I need someone I can trust, since I have already lost a box of gold to
someone that said he will help me, I won't like to make the same mistake.
The total amount of money is $10,000.000.00 USD (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars,this money I am ready to entrust it in your care till
I am able to meet with you in your country for subsequent sharing and
View the below link to verify/confirm my statement.
If you can handle this deal let me know immediately, you will receive 20% of
the money, all you need to do is to find a safe place where you can keep the
box till i leave Afghanistan.I shall update on how you will receive the
money after hearing from you.
Sgt. Paul Landrum