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:
- "i want to solicit your attention" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. Kimberly Sanders" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Sgt. Kimberly Sanders" <sgtKimberly77@outlook.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 09:21:47 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Good Day my Friend
Â Good Day my 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 Libya, I find it pleasurable to offer you my partnership in business.
My name is (Sergent) Kimberly Sanders, I am US military officer under United Nation keeping force currently in Libya, I only pray at this time that your address is still valid. I want to solicit your attention to receive money on my behalf.
My dear, i want you to know that we are being attacked by insurgents everyday and car bombs and during one of our rescue mission we came across a safe box that contain huge amount of money that belongs to the supporters of the over thrown government of Libya, which I believe was money meant for buying weapons and ammunition, and it was agreed by all Army officers present on that rescue mission that the money will be shared among us and which we did.
Out of the total fund my share was $2,560,000 ( Two Million Five Hundred and Sixty Thousand united states Dollars ) I am seeking your assistance to evacuate my share of the money out of this country ( Libya ) to your own country for you to keep it safe on my behalf till i come over to your country,
So i want you to assure me that if this money is been delivered to you in your country that you are going to be trustworthy to keep the money till when i will come to your country to meet you face to face to collect the money back from you I it clear to me that you might be scared of this proposal, but i want to let you know that i have made solid arrangements with a ''Ultimate Delivery and Security Service''and they have promised to deliver the fund through diplomatic method to any of my choosing destination.
This delivery is going to be handle legally by the ''Ultimate Delivery and Security Service''and there will not be any form of risk involve in the process and the money will be pack safely in a truck case and the same case will be deliver to you in your country.
I have decide to compensate you with 15% of the total money once after the money is delivered to you, while the rest balance shall be my investment capital in your country.
One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter to a third party, if you do not want to be party to this business please delete, this letter from your email box to avoid any leakage of this information and it will be dangerous to me based on my position here.
I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust nor thwart my dream, though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without formal introduction, well, I will say that my mind convinced me that you are the true person to help me in receiving and investing this Fund.
Note; I do not know how long we going to remain here and my fate since I have survived two bomb attack here, which prompted me to search out for a reliable and trust worthy person to help me receive and invest the Fund, because I will be coming over to your home country to invest and start a new life not as a soldier anymore.
I hope my explanation is very clear but if you need further clarification just let me know and i will explain further I want to let you know that here in the military zone we are not allow to make use of mobile phone, we only make use of radio message and email communication so please let us continue communicating through email for the mean time.
Conclusively, i wish you could send me a reply immediately in regards to this proposal, your urgent reply will be highly appreciated.
I Wait to receive your acceptable reply.
God Bless from.