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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr X" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 01:52:05 -0800
I am sorry to encroach into your privacy in this manner.My name is Paul Hester a US marine serving with the Military with the 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Afghanistan.My reason for contacting you is that we managed to move funds donated by the US government for the reconstruction of the Iraqi/Afghanistan land but this act was prompted because as serving military officers who have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan we know that this money was never going to be used appropriately by those greedy leader in both nations,this huge donations running into hundred of millions in American dollar is sent out here on a yearly basis and the money is American tax payers money and because over the years we have watched how donations made by the American government have been swindled by leaders of these countries thereby not making use of the funds and as such the decision to take from this national cake arises.You may condemn my deeds but sincerely i have served the Military in good faith and i have never been involved in any illegal act and the shameful plight of many US Military vets have pushed me to secure my future in the best way that i can.Without mincing words,i would want to confide in you that i have in my possession the sum of $2,980,000.00USD (Two million Nine hundred and eighty thousand American Dollars)The above sum was given to me as my share and to conceal this amount of money became a problem for me.
I have this money stored some where with the help of a German contact working here who's office enjoys diplomatic immunity i was able to get it secured in a safe Military tagged consignment entirely out of trouble spot in Kabul waiting for a moment like this to put the money in good use with the help of a reputable and sincere person for investment purposes.This is the reason for contacting you i am ready to compensate you with 40% of the funds.The only thing i require from you is just for you to help me receive this funds once i move the money out of Afghanistan because i am in a war zone and also been a uniform man i can not parade with such an amount.I have already mapped out strategy to move the money out of Afghanistan to your location with the aid of the diplomat and the diplomat certainly does not know the real contents of the consignments and he believes that it belongs to a Late African-American soldier Spc.Aguila Francisco Xavier,who was attacked and killed by enemy with small arms fire and before giving up he trusted me to hand over the package to his family.
With my present arrangement/procedure to evacuate this money out of here i am very positive that within two weeks it will get to your location.I shall provide you with the full details as soon as i receive your response.Right now i am very careful with the way i communicate so as to reduce any kind of risk until this money is finally in your custody.I will be communicating with you through email alone because our phone conversation might be monitored by unit bugs,i am doing this on trust and so i would want you to put aside any act of greed as we have a lot to gain in this project.Can I trust you? When you receive this message please kindly send me an e-mail signifying your interest.