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)
- "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)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mabo Rahaj Hassan <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2014 22:51:51 -0800
Subject: Re: Treated as a matter of urgency
I am Mrs. Mabo Rahaj Hassan, the wife of DR.S.I.Hassan, who was assassinated by the rebel Bashar al-Assad military of my country Syria. My late Husband, until his death was working in Syria Gulf Bank.He was assassinated by the the Bashar al-Assad military for not compromising to their demands. While he was alive, he used his position to secretly and concretely moved the sum of $5.7M.USD (Five million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars) out of my country to a safe depository Security Company In a in a safe and peaceful country where he lodged in the consignment that contains the fund to the safe depository without the real contents of the consignment revealed to the company, this he did for security reasons. Nobody knows about this fund, not even the president. My family are now in peaceful country where they are taking asylum in a refugee Camp because our lives were at risk in our country Syria, we believed that the rebels that killed my late Husband might still come after us, that is our reason of leaving the country.I therefore want seek for your assistance to secure this fund in your country?
If you are in the best position to handle this transaction, I therefore suggest that you kindly re-confirm to me the followings:
1. Your full name.
2. Your mobile telephone number.
3. Your full contact address.
4. Your Profession, age and marital status.
As soon as this above information is received, I shall commence processes with the safe depository where the consignments that contains the fund is deposited for immediate lifting of the consignment to you to your designated address via a specially arranged courier services means. I want you to also understand that my inexperience in capital investment and fund management prompted me to contact you for this transaction. I also want you to understand that this transaction should be treated as a matter of urgency because our asylum here is been threatening.
It is to our interest to conclude our transaction as a matter of urgency. Remember also that this transaction should be handled with utmost secrecy and confidentiality for our own security and safety
Mrs.Mabo Rahaj Hassan