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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i want to solicit your attention" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Stuart Roger" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 18:46:11 +0430
Subject: Dear Friend!.,
I am sorry to encroach into your privacy in this manner,I found you listed in the Trade Center Chambers of Commerce directory here in Afghanistan, I find it pleasurable to offer you my partnership in business.I only pray at this time that your address is still valid. I want to solicit your attention to receive money on my behalf.
I'm Sergeant Stuart Roger, a U.S. Army Surgeon General and a West Point Graduate presently serving with the 82nd Air Borne Division Peace keeping force in Kabul, Afghanistan. I am in-charged of Medical/Nurse Corps,the first team that move in first any where there is a strike or bomb blast for treatment and rescue of wounded soldiers several times we have discovered treasures like Gold, Diamond, Cash etc
I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $15,700,000(Six Million Seven Hundred Thousand USD) to the States or any safe country of your choice, as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.
This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved. Actually it is part of funds that we discovered from the residence of fleeing Opium farmers in Afghanistan. If you can be can be trusted i will explain further when i get a response from you. Please ensure to reply me Immediately if you want to help me.
Sgt Stuart Roger
United States Military Army. Afghanistan.