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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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. )
- "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)
- "can i completely trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: DAVID STEVENS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2016 13:09:01 +0100
Subject: IMPORTANT BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Compliment of the day
I know you will be surprised to read this mail based on the fact that
we have not known each other before,but I have no choice than to write
you because of my present situation.
My name is David stevens, the only son of a former minister of
economics and planning of Sudan.He was a highly reputable man who
opposed the Sudanese government of sponsoring the (JANJANWEE
REBELS).He was shot by the rebels on his way traveling to Khartoum
with my sister.My sister died on the spot where they were
attacked,while the UN/AU PEACE KEEPERS rescued my unconscious
father.He was later conveyed to Abidjan for medical treatment where he
later died ,Though his death was linked or rather suspected to have
been masterminded by the government at that time.
Before he died, he told me secretly that he deposited the huge sums
of money and Gold in a security company in Ghana.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. ,I am in a
sincere desire for your humble assistance in this regards.I will have
to present you to the company as my late father business
associate/beneficiary and claim the consignment and at the same time
moved it out of Ghana to your country where you will invest it into a
lucrative and profitable business for us.If you can assist us,kindly
respond to this mail.
Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Now permit me to
ask these few questions:-
1. Can I completely trust you?
2. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for
you? Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.