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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt Brian Joseph" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:22:00 -0700
Subject: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN!
My name is (Staff Sgt) Brian Joseph, I'm an American soldier serving
in the military with the Armys 2nd Infantry division Iraq but now
redeployed to Afghanistan. I have a very desperate need for assistance
and have summed up courage to contact you.Im seeking your kind
assistance to move the sum of four Million five hundred United States
Dollars (US$4.5M) to you as far as I can be assured that my share will
be safe in your care.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies were discovered in barrels at a
farmhouse near Saddams old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during a rescue
operation, and it was agreed by Staff Sgt Kenneth Buff and I that some
part of this money be shared between both of us before informing anybody
about it since both of us saw the money first. This does not sound right
to do but I tell you what! No compensation can make up for the risk we
have taken with our lives in this hell hole, of which my brother in-law
was killed by a road side bomb last time.
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind
of money became a problem for me but with the help of a British contact
working here and with his office enjoying some immunity, I was able to
get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.
I have now found a very secured way of getting the package to you and I
will discuss this with you when I m sure that you are willing to assist
me and that the money will be well secured in your hands. I feel this is
the right time to send this money to you.
I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the
assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will make to you
is not to discuss this matter with anybody. Should you have reasons to
reject this offer, please and please, I beg you to destroy this message
as any leakage of this information will be too bad for the US soldiers
in Iraq and even Afghanistan.
I do not know how long we will remain in this war, as each day looks
horrifying with deadly operation and battle against die hard militants
and terrorists. Totally, we lost well over 4,500 men so far and I have
survived two suicide bomb attacks and other forms of attack by the
special grace of God. This and other reasons I will mention later has
prompted me to reach out for help.
I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately.
May God bless you
Sgt Brian Joseph