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:
- "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. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: CAPT PATRICK WILLIAMS <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2017 21:02:34 +0200
Subject: Dear Beloved Friend
Dear Beloved Friend,
I saw your email from searching Engine and i decided to contact you urgent for this great opportunity between me and you, permit me to introduce myself to you, I am a captain with the United Nations troop Kabul Afghanistan, on war against terrorism. Based on the United States legislative and executive decision for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan come next year, I have been deployed to come and work in your country on military base soonest. Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly on the war against terrorism and i will need a house for myself & that is why I contacted you.
On the other hand I want to inform you that I have in my possession the sum of US$45.5Million US.D) Which I got from crude oil deal here in Afghanistan. I deposited this money with a Red Cross agent informing him that we are making contact for the real owner of the money. And It is under my power to approve whoever that comes forth for this consignment.
I want to invest the money in your state as soon as I am deployed into your state for a good business, anyway you will advice me on that since I am not a business person. so I need someone I could trust. If you accepted i will be smuggle to transfer the money to your country where you will be the beneficiary.
I am a uniformed person and I cannot be parading such an amount, so I need to present someone to stand as the recipient. I am an American and an intelligence officer and for that so I have a 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service. I just need your acceptance and all is done.
Please if you are interested in this transaction I will give to you the complete details that you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully, i decided to find someone that is for real and not imaginary and that is why I went to a secured web site, where I can be sure that the person is real. I believe I can trust you. Where we are now we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which is secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then I can explain in details to you will only reach you through email, because our calls might be monitored but have to be sure whom I am dealing with.
If you are interested please send me your personal mobile number so I can call you for further Inquiry when I am out of our military network am writing from a fresh email account so if you are not interested do not reply to this email and please delete this message, if not response after 3days I will then search for someone else.
I wait for your contact details so we can go on.I will give to you 40% of the sum and 60% is for me. I hope I am been fair on this deal,
Get back to me with your full information:
YOUR FULL NAME.........
YOUR FULL ADDRESS....................
YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER........
Capt. Patrick Williams