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:
- "federal republic of benin" (Benin, Cameroon, etc. are no Federal Republics, unlike Nigeria where this type of scam was invented)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: John Corlins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 10:51:21 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Business Proposal
Tender Letter from Chairman's desk [ committee on special projects allocation and duty ] Ministry of Mineral & Natural Resources,Federal Republic of Benin.
The above committee needs an agent to partner in transfer of[ USD$15.5M ]Fifteen Million Five Hundred Thousand USA Dollars and partake in the subsequent investment prospects particularly real estate in any country.
You are entitled to 35% of the fund,however,there will be strict requirements of your active commitment in;
:the fund transfer
:the investment prospects
:any other thing attendant to these goals
Therefore,if you can afford this partnership transaction,forward your complete information via[ email@example.com] to Engr.G Martins [ committee chairman ] your Age and phone are also important.
You should also be informed that the office intends involvement of persons of integrity and sincerity only.