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)
- "(ecowas)" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Nuga Kemo <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2013 12:01:09 +0100
Subject: SUPPLY OF INVITATION
The Government of Ghana has Published their Annual Projects,about
Seventy-Two(72) Products/Items will be needed for Purchase/Supply in a
larger quantity. I am an agent Sourcing for a good and a reputable
company that can handle the Supply after 100% advance payment.
Due to the Rate of mass production from CHINA which cost us lots of
damage financially. The country Decided to hand Over the contract
supply order to ECOWAS.I will be more happy if you can present your
company as an eligible Supplier who will handle this project.This
Order is from the ECONOMICS Community of west Africa State(ECOWAS)
payment term:100% advance by T/T all so contact me through email
As this Item have been planed to be use as a promotional tools in the country.
SUPPLY OF PRODUCTS.
REPLY TO EMAIL/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Nuga Kemo Agency