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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "deadline" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sam Okoh" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2011 18:04:01 +0200
Subject: Gold Business
We are global business consultant and business services located in Accra Ghana-west Africa. We offer business consulting services for international companies seeking to invest in Ghana.
They come to us because we care about what's important to them: flexibility, cost-saving options, customer service, data quality, security, competitive pricing, accuracy, meeting deadlines, quick turnaround times, and the all-important intangible of going the extra mile.
The local miners need to sell their gold to purchase some mining equipments. The available gold for sale is 50kg:
Au metal (gold)
Purity: 92 %
Price is $32,500 per kilo
Shipment must be accompanied by proper export documentation, including certificate of origin, ownership certificate, airway bill and previous assay report.
Should you have the opportunity of providing mining equipment for them? I believe you can get them to do a long term supply contract with you.
In case you are not in the position to buy, you can still stand as a middle person and have your commission after linked them with buyer within your location.
I wait for your urgent action on this gold transaction. Should you be interested, please contact us for details. My Contact ( firstname.lastname@example.org )