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:
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- "receive a commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: nail-investment <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 18:45:51 +0800
Subject: PROJECT FINANCING
Greetings to you ,
We are starting to make more investment deal into small scale and large scale establishments, and project financing all around the world, specifically in Euro Zone, Middle East and America e.t.c.
We mediate for some high net worth private investors who are Asian business tycoons with liquid cash and have the capability to release funds to your viable genuine business of any magnitude even in Billions of Dollars, as long as an agreement and MoU has been made between you and our private investors.
First, I want you to bear in mind that as we are the mediator to close the investment deal to your favor we are not asking you for an upfront 1% commission, as its the private investors agreement to pay us separately from his own funds for our services rendered.
Secondly, in most cases the interest rate is normally 4%, and we are not talking about a 4% yearly reimbursement, but rather after a total period of 10years its when you are deemed to commence full payback of the investment funds. If for example it's $250,000 you loan, you will then payback $250,000 with an additional 4% interest rate. So that is how the scope of this investment program works.
Lastly, if you dont have any viable project, then we implore you to source from your colleagues and friends that have genuine project yet to be financed due to inadequate funding. You should also bear in mind that any referral you bring to our notice, you will receive a commission on our payroll schedule for your services rendered.
Do get back to me at your earliest convenience, with your project scope or referral proposition, so we can move forward to see how things will work out for all parties involved.
Project Financing / Investment Ideals