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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MOHAMMED" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 11:24:13 -0000
Subject: Re:imm urgent
Thanks for your response and expression of interest toward my proposal; I am Mr. Mohammed Idris member of the board of directors Epoxide Group Expert for Consulting (Intota). I?m an Iraqi by nationality working in Switzerland; I represent the interest of a top government official in Iraq who is currently working for the government but hope to retire in two/three years from now. I am confidentially engaged by him and entrusted with the responsibility of locating a capable overseas partner with whom we can work to discretely invest a large sum of money ($43.6million USD) As I rightly suggested, our choice area of investment is properties, and I presume I?m going to benefit from your local experiences in this field for investing in your country. Know in advance that I?m a very important personality here, and if you can do your best to handle this business successfully it will open the way for more and better co-operation between us and in future.
I have already gotten in contact with my associate in Iraq and he has agreed to release the funds to you for investment proposes.The said fund was earned through private commission from government contracts, royalties from excess crude oil and exploration rights. Our goal is to transfer the money out of Turkey as soon as possible, then work with you (overseas partner) for setting up business or investing the money there in your country. We have concluded arrangements to move the funds through special transfer operation via a private security/finance company account. It?s important you work with honesty/sincerity, and do not disappoint the trust I?m going to repose in you. You are going to front as the sole owner of any establishment manage by you, but you will be remitting certain percentage of its profits to my contact in Iraq.
The first stage of the investments will be for a proposed period of three years; thereafter we would review the situation and move on from there. If you find no interest in this project, please delete this email, and forget I ever contacted you. If you give me a positive signal regarding these facts, I will initiate this process towards a swift conclusion, and you shall receive the money in your bank account legally within seven business days. Do not betray my confidence, if we can be of one accord, we should plan a meeting soon.