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)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "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: Nicholas Gilmore <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Nicholas Gilmore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 14:20:46 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Your Attention Sir/Madam, Happy New Year
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I hope my e-mail meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name is Nicholas Gilmore, of the Engineering Unit of US Military here in Baghdad in Iraq we have about US$30 Million, that we want to move out of the country in three digital boxes. My partners and I need a good partner out there, someone we can trust to receive the funds on our behalf.
It is oil money and legal.We have made arrangements with a Diplomatic Courier Service that will move the funds out of Iraq as a Family Treasures, also we have made arrangement to transfer the said fund through Bank of Baghdad depending on what you want, The most important thing is; Can We Trust you once the funds get to you?. If (Yes)
Towards this end, We have resolved to offer you 30% of the total fund, 5% should be used to reimburse all expenses that will be incurred in the cause of the transfer process. And the remaining 55% will go to me and my partners.
Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the funds can be sent to, ours is sending it to you safely. If you are interested I will furnish you with more Details upon receipt of your response and contact details. But I can assure you the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times. I look forward to your reply and co-operation.