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:
- "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. )
- "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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mch" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 09:48:51 -0800
Subject: Please thanks,
I am really sorry to send you an unsolicited email of this nature. Below is the reason i have to bother you today, and i am really sorry for this disturbance. My name is Michael Kudjo; i am a Sudanese refugee from Darfur. I am an orphan having lost both of my parents in the conflict in my country. Presently i am in the refugee camp (Bujumbura camp) here in Accra Ghana. I came here because when we were fleeing the destruction at home, my late mother gave me some document which she took away from our house when it was set ablaze by the government supported militia. One of the documents was her marriage certificate; the other was a certificate of deposit from a security company in Accra Ghana.
Currently am seeking your support if possible to receive the funds which my father deposited to my favor in a Security institution and with a Gold as well which my late father also deposited all this documents was discovered in my late father diary the deposit certificate is for a trunk box containing 250kg of GOLD DUST which is in safe keeping at the vault of the security company. All effort to claim the box from the security company since my arrival in Ghana has proven abortive; their singular reason is that, the contract they had with my father shows that the trunk box should only be release to him in person or his foreign business partner.
I do not know anything about a foreign business partner as my late father was an illiterate tribal chief and a galamsey (indigenous miner).
This is why i am contacting you today to see if you can prevail on this people to release the box for me as my father foreign business partner. Meanwhile i have the entire document here with me the certificate of deposit Origin and the contract, if you are willing to help sir i am willing to enter into agreement with you or you can come down here by yourself and together we can visit the company in face to face conversation first before the process meanwhile before anything can be done we must change the documents to your name transfer of power to your name as the new beneficiary of the funds.
I will send you the particulars of the company when i hear from you also always reach me with this email address: email@example.com
Thank you Sir,