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:
- "huge amount of money" (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: "Mr Craig Jones" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2011 08:21:06 -0000
Subject: Vital Project
Letter from Craig,
It took me a lot of time to summon courage to email you. It is a fact that we have not had any previous business dealings, but I strongly believe that with understanding and trust we can have a successful business relationship.
My name is Craig Jones, the Chief financial officer of New Zealand's Oil & Gas Company Ltd. We have been on a project called The Kupe project. This project is to be the first phase development of gas field discoveries first made by New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) in 1986. The project was given the final go ahead to move into the construction phase in July 2006. However, a large amount of design, assessment and pre-development work preceded this decision.
I have access to very vital information that can be used to move a huge amount of money out of the project account to a secured account. I have done my homework very well .I have the machineries in place to get it done since I am still in active service. If it was possible for me to do it alone I would not have bothered contacting you, ultimately I need an honest foreigner to play an important role in the completion of this business deal.
Kindly get back to me ASAP via my email for the next line of action if you are willing to commence. please treat as confidential.
Signed: Craig Jones