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:
- "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. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. Zaineb Mousa" <"WWW."@comet.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: "Sgt. Zaineb Mousa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2017 18:28:09 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Attention. Please the lawful beneficiary.
INTERNATIONAL POLICE (INTERPOL)
Rue 67 Interpol Europe Agency Paris.
The Truth About Your Funds
Attention. Please the lawful beneficiary.
I felt expedient to write and inform you on the wicked conspiracy hatched by the duo of JUSTICE T.Y Waziri and Mr. Lanre Williams of the Ministry of Finance and some of the Finance Ministry staffs with numerous fake names to divert your money to their designated account in Europe.
From my position as a lowly clerk in this office, I discovered that they moved the fund from Africa to London, UK and then moved it last week to Banco Italiano in ITALY. Today I found out through the central computer database that they are about to re-route back your fund to a security company in USA. With this, I felt that it is important for me to alert you on this development that the departments of homeland security USA are holding the monies for clarifications.
They are still using your name and contract won /inheritance compensation identification number as the beneficiary but they have changed the account co-ordinate and this is the reason they are frustrating you by asking for endless fees in other to buy time pending on when they will transfer your funds to their designated account in Cayman Islands.
I have the reference number of the transaction and also I have the number of the official who is directly in charge at the SECURITY VAULT of department of homeland security in USA where the funds is present on-hold. Your payment is supposed to go through the International credit control financial clearing house before finally put into the SECURITY VAULT of department of homeland security in there in USA on-hold for clarifications. All the data about your claim profile are within my reach. I do not need gratification from you either in cash or kind. I can never be a part of evil.
Please respect my discretion in this matter, you can send an email (email@example.com) to me so that I can give you the reference number and the name and contact information of the officials of the SECURITY VAULT of Department of homeland security in USA.
I repeat, please do not expose my person, it is not easy to get jobs around here and I cannot contend With these powerful individuals because they can eliminate me just like that.
I waited for your response so urgent
God bless you.
Sgt. Zaineb Mousa