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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million 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)
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "Cargill Inc." (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 7 Mar 2010 15:09:11 -0800
Subject: Our Ref: CFQC/US/10GRT044
Our Ref: CFQC/US/10GRT044
Cargill which was founded in 1865 by W.W. Cargill, was conceived with the objective of Human Growth, Education and Community development.
We are pleased to inform you that as part of our 2010 fiscal year promotion, Cargill is donating two hundred million dollars,
towards the Cargill Foundation anniversary as specific cash aid to 100 international recipients worldwide in different categories for business, educational and personal development,
and at least 30% to be use by each for the development of his/her community. For more details about our charitable donations please visit our website athttp://www.cargill.com/corporateresponsibility/charitab-giving/index.jsp In 2009,
Cargill contributed more than US $58 million to nonprofit and/or nongovernmental organizations, schools and local community organizations in locations where we have a business presence.Based on the random selection exercise from all databases and websites on the internet, you were selected among the recipients to receive the sum of USD 2,000,000.00 (Two Million US dollars) as cash aid. It is therefore my pleasure to officially inform you that you have been chosen By the board of trustees of the Cargill Foundation, as one of the recipients for 2010 Charitable giving for your own personal, educational and business development.
You are required to contact your cash aid documentation officer with the below information, for documentation and processing.
Date of birth:
Cash Aid payments are strictly administered by the respective/authorized payment offices of the Cargill Foundation in North America and United kingdom.
On behalf of the Cargill Foundation, Board of trustees, kindly accept our warmest congratulations.
Dr. Paul Long
© 2010 Cargill, Incorporated.