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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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)
- "trunk box" (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)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- telephone number available. please reply to:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org respectfully, captain greg, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "CAPT, GREG PHILLIPS" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 12:29:39 -0400
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE PLEASE...
Good day and compliments, I know this letter will definitely come to you as a surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence.Please allow me to introduce myself.I am CAPTAIN GREG PHILLIPS,in 4th Battalion, 64th Armoured Regiment unit here that Patrols the helmand province, Afghanistan. I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you.
I am presently in Afghanistan and I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $25m (Twenty five Million United States Dollars) to you,as far as I can be assured by you that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in US DOLLARS was discovered and concealed in barrels at a location in helman province when we conducted a foot patrol and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared among us.This might appear as an illegal thing to do but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hellhole.The above figure was given to me as my share and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a Canadian contact working with the UN here (his office enjoys some immunity) I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot. He does not know the real contents of the package as he believes that it belongs to an American who died in an air raid, who before giving up trusted me to hand over the package to his close relative.
I have now found a secured way of getting the package out of Afghanistan for you to pick up. I do not know how long I will remain here, as I have been lucky to survive 2 suicide bomb attacks by Pure Divine intervention.This and other reasons put into consideration have prompted me to reach out for help.
I have to be very sure that you are willing to assist me. I agreed to offer you a reasonable percentage(30%) of the total sum of money as gratification for your assistance and cooperation. It's $100 bills throughout and it's contained in one Trunk box. I'm thinking of tagging the box as "personal effects" and ship it out of Afghanistan through a special diplomatic scheme with the help of a Canadian Diplomat
I also advice you to please keep this issue highly confidential.Diplomatic shipment is a very secure and legal way of sending the Trunk box of money out of here(Afghanistan),and I will discuss this with you in full details on my next email. Please do confirm to me if this is quite acceptable by you so that I can start making arrangements immediately to have the Trunk box shipped out of Afghanistan.
You may be wondering why i choose to trust a delicate matter like this in the care of a stranger, but this is the best i can do in my present situation. I would have trusted this kind of project in the hands of my wife who was my closest confidant, but I lost her to cancer on 22ND July 2008 few months after we got married, and my only brother has ruined his life with hard drugs, hence my decision to work with a neutral person that i have faith in and trust,like my good friend Morris,instead of confiding in my buddies back home so that this little secret can be preserved. I will await your immediate response to this email.I am counting on your understanding and full cooperation in order to make this work faster.
I await your immediate response. and also confirm your willingness to cooperate with me in this project.And When replying to this email, please make your personal information's such as full names, contact address and direct telephone number available.
Please reply to:firstname.lastname@example.org
United States Soldier:Afghanistan