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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Paul Kofi <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:31:01 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: CALL ME
Dear Good Friend,I am contacting you knowing fully well that you are a citizen of Guyana that is why i am contacting you for this inheritance transfer.My director (Mr Gareth Glover) Â whom i may say is your brother because he is from Guyana before his death was a gems stone dealer in West Africa Ghana Republic.My director died after he visited his friend in Libya and there was a bomb explosion in their house which led to their deaths.My Director before his death deposited a consignment of (US$18M) in a security company here in my country Ghana Republic.I have made several attempts to locate any member of his family but all efforts prove abortive that is why i am contacting you since you are from Guyana so that we claim this deposit together after i visit you in your country for sharing and investing of the money.This deposit was made as jewelry by my director so you are going to receive it as your gems stones from me here your partner in Ghana Republic.If you can help me,kindly send to me your full names and address with your private telephone where we talk on this transfer.Expecting your honest reply.ThanksPaul Kofi+233272491552