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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ng Ten Thoon <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2011 00:56:51 -0430
Subject: RE: Notice of Business Undertaking
I am Ng Ten Thoon, an employee of one of the biggest bank here in
Singapore. I want to use this opportunity to Offer you a business
undertaking with a very high monetary gain and value, mutually
beneficial to both parties if you are interested. Please allow me give
you a brief picture of what I have in mind.
In my position as safe deposit manager at my bank, I have become privy
to a lot of unclaimed deposits and accounts and I have particularly
monitored one of such accounts and can comfortably state that the
account is there for us to convert to our personal usage, hence my
email to you.
This is a very straight forward transaction and I would say the funds
are at my disposal right now, if and only if you can pledge your
concrete commitment to assist me convert this funds to our personal
usage immediately, all I need from you is to stand as the original
depositor and follow my instructions.
Please get this very clear, nobody knows about the existence of this
money and if anything happens to me today the funds will revert to my
Bank's or Singapore Government coffers, this is why we need to act
now. Please understand I am ready to share this money with you for
your assistance, I do know that I have not given you a clear picture
and amount involved, but when I get your reply I will be more revealing.
Your immediate response will be appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ng Ten Thoon