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)
- "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. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss.Amy Raymond" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 4 Jan 2020 18:09:05 +0200
Subject: HAPPY HOLIDAYS, PLEASE REPLY ASAP.
I'm an American soldier, My name is Sgt. Amy Raymond, I'm seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of $10.2 Million USD to you as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service, This is no stolen money, and there are no danger involved. I'm presently in a hospital recovering from injuries Sustained in a suicide bomb attack.
Source of money:
Some money in various currencies was discovered in barrels at a farmhouse near one of Saddam's old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during a rescue operation while I was still serving in Iraq years ago and it was agreed by our team that some part of this money be shared among both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us saw the money first. This was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with our lives.
Please view website for confirmation;
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 British contact working with us and his office enjoy some immunity, I was able to move the money to a security company as a diplomatic baggage. They are now waiting for us to provide the name of beneficiary who they will transfer the funds to. The reason I want you to claim the funds on my behalf is that as a Soldier, I cannot present a concrete evidence on how I made such a big amount of money.
The moment I'm sure that you will assist me, I will let you know were I'm currently receiving treatment and I will also give you the information of the security company and the security code of the baggage. I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for me. I do not know how long I will remain here at the hospital, I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me on this email firstname.lastname@example.org
God Bless You,