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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: "DR. SAM JONAH" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 00:30:10 +0100
Subject: I await your soonest response..........................
From the Desk of Dr. Sam Jonah
Ex-CEO of Ashanti Goldfields,
Accra - North, Ghana.
It is my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confidence to succeed sometimes in life.
My Name is Dr. Sam Jonah, a Ghanaian, and a Politician. There's this huge amount of Money valued the sum of TWENTY ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSANDS US. DOLLARS ($21.500.000.00) which I deposited with a Bank here in Ghana. I have decided to invest it in your country or anywhere safe enough outside Africa through your direction for security and political reasons.
I want you to assist me stand as the Beneficiary of the Funds while the Bank will release/transfer the Funds into your care for my investment purposes on these areas: Telecommunication, transportation, industries and five star hotels. This is because of my Personality and if you can be of any assistance to me I will be pleased to reimburse you handsomely with %20 of the Funds and also made you by director of any of these Companies where these funds will be invested on.
I await your soonest response.
Dr. Sam Jonah.
FOR MORE INFO