fighting spam and scams on the Internet
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.
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 11:11:10 +0100
It is indeed my pleasure to write you this letter, which I believe will be a surprise to you as we have never met before, and I am deeply sorry if I have in any manner disturbed your privacy. Please forgive this unusual manner of contacting you, but this particular letter is of exceptional and very private nature. There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this email, coupled with the fact that, so many individuals have taken possession of the Internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition. There is no way for me to know whether I will be properly understood, but it is my duty to write and reach out to you.
I head a four-man Committee on Debt Reconciliation at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, where I am also a Director of Project Implementation. In recent past, we have carefully arranged a contract with a foreign firm, in which the cost was over-invoiced deliberately to favour us. Now, we want to get the funds out of the apex bank into your provided account within one week from now, and a percentage (20%) will be given to you for your assistance and efforts. The amount we are about transferring is totaled at US$16,500,000.00.
Also, there is the need for you to know that, we shall be sending you upon commencement, some amount that will be used in taking care of some expenses, as well as settling some taxes here, which you shall handle personally, so there are absolutely no bills to be paid by you in the course of the transfer.
All we need from you later is concrete mailing address, to enable us send via courier money orders, which you shall use in settling the bills as they come. We have set aside funds to offset whatever bills that crop up in the event of transfer. You will certainly ask yourself how consequential this letter is. Indeed, is it not surprising to receive such a letter seeking immediate assistance? This is why today I am making you a non-binding, unrestricted offer, to bring us close into mutual understanding and cooperation now, and in the near future.
Trust is definitely the most noble trait in the world, and I urge you to trust my sincerity and the word of a simple and humble person of faith, who is willing to accomplish the task of doing business with you. It is up to you to decide whether this letter deserves your trust and confidentiality.
And if indeed it does, please send me the following:
(i) Acceptance of this offer
(ii) Your company name/address, telephone/fax numbers and a bank account where the funds would be lodged.
(iii) Convincing Honesty, Trustworthiness and Willingness to abide by the requirements of this proposal paramount of which is CONFIDENTIALITY.
Upon receipt of the above, I shall communicate with you, and let you know the details of the transfer. Whatever your actions and your decision, I thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Best personal regards.