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:
- "processing fee" (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. )
- "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)
- "million 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)
- "the diplomat " ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "a 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.Mattias Sjoborg" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2019 22:51:00 +0100
Subject: FROM MATTIAS SJOBORG!!
My name is MATTIAS SJOBORG, I am a citizen of Switzerland and the (Chairman of the Compensation and Nomination Committee) of Tethys Petroleum, a multi-national oil corporation operating from London-England, UK. I am seeking your assistance to retrieve the sum of Forty Million Dollars consisting of two consignment boxes.
This money was acquired from the company and it was accompanied by a diplomat and correctly deposited in a security firm, my reason for this is because I have been cheated out of my entitlements by the company for too long simply because I am not a British. The contact details of the diplomat will be given to you if you indicate your interest to help me.
Each of the boxes contains $20M and for your help I am ready to release 40% to you, for security reasons the consignment was registered to be CONFIDENTIAL DIPLOMATIC DOCUMENTS and I can explain why it was declared so. Bear in mind that the diplomat is not aware of the content of the consignment, it has been there for the past 1 month while I intend to look for a reliable partner.I will be leaving the country immediately the consignment is delivered to you for my private investment and I have vowed never to step back into London, England. Please, I need your urgent response before my plans to leave the company is discovered.
Right now the safest form of correspondence is through my own e-mail address, please in the interest of confidentiality only reply through my direct email address. Reply along with your direct phone and fax number where I can alternatively reach you on.
Please if you are not willing or interested in helping me kindly delete this email from your email and pretend you never got it.also note that this might attract some little processing fees from the security company for their delivery which you might have to cover for this transaction, because am not entitled to handle cash in the company and I am being monitored, so for this reason , whatsoever money you invest before you receive this funds will firstly be deducted from the total sum of $40M for expenses as I am also putting 10% of the total sum for expenses, before my arrival for us to do the sharing
(Chairman of the Compensation and Nomination Committee)