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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nelson Sinclair" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2021 15:22:13 +0000
Subject: NEED YOUR HELP
My name is Nelson Sinclair, I am a military doctor attached to the US army force in Syria. Few days before I lost my leg in a hostile fire car bomb, my late friend discovered a metal box containing US Bills. We believe the box is linked to rebels in Syria.
With the help of Chief Special Warfare Operator (name withheld for security reason), the US bills were successfully put in a safety company outside Syria for safe keep. But sadly my friend died as a result of a hostile fire attack.
I am now in desperate need of a reliable and trustworthy person who will receive and secure the Bills for safe keeping, I can't afford to leave it in the safety company since I donât know much about the country of deposit and Syria is getting unsafe and dangerous every day. I have no idea what could happen next as everything remains inconclusive at this point.
As soon as I receive your response and contact details, I will forward it to the safety company. You will be rewarded with, please assure me of your keeping this topmost secret so that my job would not be jeopardized.