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:
- "hundred thousand us 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: capt John white <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2021 19:41:42 -0700
i am captain John White, I am among American troops currently deployed in Syria,
my reason for contacting you through your email is that I have a proposal for you and I got your email address when I was seeking on the internet to see if I can find someone I can share this deal with and come across your email address.
I urgently need to safeguard some amount of money I have here in my possession which is worth the sum of eleven million five hundred thousand US Dollars (11.5 Million)
I came across this cash while on operation three days ago, as we were on the massive attack against the terrorist Group here in Syria and nobody else knows that I have this money here with me because I still hide it somewhere.
my colleagues here did not know about this money because I hide it out of other items that were confiscated from the terrorist hideout.
I deemed it necessary to look out for somebody that will keep this money for me until I complete my duty here in about 6 months' time, I want to know if you are willing to do that and I am going to share this money 40/60 with you.
I am still an active soldier and I personally did not want anyone to know about this and my plans of moving this money to you will be through a delivery cargo company that delivers food and medicine here.
I am going to reply back to you tomorrow if you agree with my proposal.
note that you can only communicate with me through my private email address.
i will wait for your reply