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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Captain Robert J. Gauthier" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 15:37:18 -0700
Subject: I want to entust you with $12 Million.
I want to entust you with $12 Million.
I am a Captain of the US Marine Corps on Monitoring and Peace keeping mission in Afghanistan. The reason why Im explaining my finding to you is to seek for your assistance to enable you contribute immensely to the actualization of my dreams also your dreams to rich.
On the 27th day of April 2016, we were alerted on the presence of some terrorists hideouts in northern Afghanistan, a long thoroughfare of high-rise buildings built by their former dictator. After Immediate intervention by the Afghan forces and ours, we were able to capture many foreign Arab fighters linked to al Qaeda in that operation and over 100 militants were killed on the process. Among the Arab fighters linked to al Qaeda two were interrogated by two of our intelligent investigators and I. They confessed that some of them are fighters for al Qaeda and some are for Ayman al-Zawahiri and they took us to some of their hideout which runs along the west bank of the Tigris River that cuts through the capital.
When we invaded into the hideout, we recovered several guns, amour including some boxes among which two contains bullets, one filled with hard drugs (heroine) and the other four to my amazement contain US Dollars which we assumed amounted to $31.2M after I and two of the intelligent investigators counted them.
I however instructed them to keep this as a top secret so that we can have the money to ourselves, they all agreed to the plan and they replied to me on how I can get this huge sum out of this country and I told them that its no problem. This motivated me to connive with my best friend in our force who went with me and the two other officers to keep the boxes in a safer place. After we shared the trunks, i got the fat potion as the leader which contains $12 Million .
I am now in keen need of a Reliable and Trustworthy person like you who would receive, secure and protect these boxes containing the US Dollars for me on till my assignment elapses here.I plan to negotiate with a red-cross officer who normally fly in here to deliver messages and belongings to the families of soldiers to their respective homes around the world, to help me deliver this trunk out the country.
I assure and promise to give you 30% of this fund, however feel free to negotiate what you wish to have as your percentage in this deal.
Please assure me of your keeping this as a topmost secret to protect my job with the US Monitoring and Peace-Keeping mission.
Thank you for the anticipated understanding
My sincere regards,
Captain James Rutherfold,