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. )
- "will come to you as a surprise" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Harmony Dadzie" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 25 Nov 2017 03:59:16 +0000
Subject: MY MUM AND I NEED YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE, PLEASE REPLY
I know this email will come to you as a surprise since we barely know each other but I don't want you to see it that way because I and my mama urgently need your assistance as our new trustee and foreign partner to receive our inheritance, I'm Harmony Dadzie as you may know and my mum is Rose Dadzie, we are from South Sudan, my mum and I want you to render to us your urgent assistance as our new trustee and foreign beneficiary to help us receive our inheritance we inherited from my late father, my father deposited 2 big consignment boxes with a security company here in Ghana containing $18 million and 30kg of gold.
After the death of my father, I and my mum came to Ghana to notify the security company for the release of the consignment boxes and we where told about the agreement my late father made with them during the depositing of the boxes, that the boxes should be release to his foreign partner alone with the knowledge and approval of his next of kin which is me, so we contacted my late father foreign partner to let him know about the boxes and the agreement (situation) surrounding our inheritance and he agreed to help us claim the boxes, so we entered an agreement with him that on the successful claim of the boxes from the security company, we will give him 20% of the total $18 million and 5% for any expenses he made during the claims of the boxes from the security company and the delivery to him in person. We also told him we will give him the opportunity to sell the gold and he will also take 10% from the total money he will make from the sells of the gold, so we all agreed and work together to make the claims of the consignment boxes from the security company.
After he has succeeded making the claim of the consignment boxes from the security company to where the consignment boxes are presently at, with all legal documents he has prepared to aid the safer delivery of the consignment boxes to him, he now decide to write off our agreement and told us that he will take 70% of the total $18 million in our consignment boxes, when my mum and I heard this we stop the diplomatic courier company for making the delivery of our boxes to him since he wanted to be greedy, this is the reason why we are seeking your urgent assistance for you to come to our aid as our new trustee and foreign partner to receive the consignment boxes and upon the successful delivery of the consignment boxes to you, the initial 20% we agreed to give our greedy partner will be giving to you and you will also help us sell the gold and take the 10% of the total money you will make from the sells of the gold.
Please help us as we really need your urgent assistance to get this done, please get back as I and my mum await to read from you with much expectation, for fast communication on this matter you can also reach me on my number +233237081674.
I wait to read from you urgently
Best regard Harmony Dadzie & Mum