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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt Bill Smith" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:35:45 -0700
Subject: I am seeking your kind assistance
My name is (Sgt) Bill Smith, I'm an American soldier serving
in the military with the Armyâs 2nd Infantry division Iraq but now redeployed to Afghanistan. I have a very desperate need for assistance and have summed up courage to contact you.Iâm seeking your kind assistance to move the sum of Four Million United States Dollars (US$4M) to you as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care.
SOURCE OF MONEY:
Some money in various currencies were discovered in barrels at a farm house near Saddamâs old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during rescueoperation, and it was agreed by Staff Sgt Kenneth Buff and I that some part of this money be shared between both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us saw the money first. his does not sound right to do but I tell you what! No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with our lives in this hell hole, of which my brother in-law was killed by a road side bomb last time. The above figure was given to me as my percentage, and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me but with the help of a British contact working here and with his office Ace security company enjoying some immunity, I was able to get the package out to Ace security company London U.K. for safe keeping. I have now found a very secured way of getting the package to you and I will discuss more with you uppon your response when iâm sure that you are willing to assist me and that the money will be well secured in your hands. I feel this is the right time to send this money to you. I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money for the assistance you will give to me.Onepassionateappeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody. Should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please, I beg you to destroy this message as any leakage ofthis information will be too bad for the US soldiers in Iraq and even Afghanistan. I do not know how long we will remain in this war,
as each day looks horrifying with deadly operation and battle against die hard militants and terrorists. Totally, we lost well over 4,500 men so far and I have survived two suicide bomb attacks and other forms of attack by the special grace of God. This and other reasons I will mention later has prompted me to reach out for help. I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately.
May God bless you.
Sgt. Bill Smith.