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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Richard Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 21:58:47 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Contact my secretary for your compensation
I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from paraguay.
Presently i'm in Paraguay for investment projects with my own share of the total sum. meanwhile,i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.
Now contact my secretary in Benin his name is Mrs cynthia Innocent on her E-mail Address email@example.com) ask her to send you the total of $1.2Million (One Million Two Hundread Thousand Dollars) which i kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very much.
So feel free and get in touched with my secretary Mrs Cynthia Innocent and instruct her where to send the amount to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time.
Iâm very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive that money, so feel free to get in touch with Mrs Cynthia Innocent She will send the amount to you without any delay.