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 company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
Fraud email example:
From: "zhang" <Zhongshan@chinamail.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 22:26:30 -0500 (PET)
Subject: Representative Needed
I am Ding Xue Xiao, Assistant Manager Export of Zhongshan Will Furniture
Co., Ltd 31520 Zhejiang Gengyu RD,Guisi Industry Zhejiang, 315206 China.
We are searching for representatives who can help us establish a medium of
getting to our customers in Canada/America/South America and Europe as
well as making payments through you to us.
Please if you are interested in transacting business with us we will be
glad to be your partners. Please contact us for more information, Subject
to your satisfaction you will be given the opportunity to negotiate your
mode of which we will pay for your services as our representative in
Canada/America/South America and Europe. Please if you are interested
forward to us your full names your phone number/fax and your full contact
Please note that your area of specialization or occupation is of no
relevance to resolve to assist us.
Thanks in advance
Mr. Ding Xue Xiao.
Assistant Manager Export
Zhongshan Will Furniture Co., Ltd