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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found 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: "Mr. Eric Osaro" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2013 05:55:19 +0100
Subject: GOLD FOR SALE
My name is Mr. Eric Osaro, I am a Ghana custom
officer, I am in searching for honest gold dealer or who knows anyone
who deal on gold that I can trust to help me receive my gold I have here
and sell it in his or her country. The gold is 55 kilo grams and to be
frank with you, I seized the gold from the illegal exporter at Kotoka
International Airport Accra Ghana when they were about to smuggle it
into Airline and ship it out of the country. I will be very glad if you
can indicate your interest to help me sell the gold in your country.
am very happy when I saw your profile on line. Please all I need from
you is a maximum Sincerity, Trust, Honesty and Love. Please before we
start this business, I will like you to send me your personal contact
details. As soon as I got your personal contact details, I will send you
an agreement letter so you can go through it, sign it and send it back
to me for us to commence the business.
I will afterwards send you
50% of the gold and after you sale it and send me back the amount we
shall agree as the price of the gold, I will send you the remaining 50%.
Please before I forget I will not like anyone to know about this
business we are about to embark because I seized the gold from the
illegal exporters at the Kotoka International Airport Accra Ghana, the
Gold suppose to belong to my country government because I suppose to
account it for them. I just want to use this opportunity given to me by
God to sale the gold and resign from my custom work and invest the money
in your country and come over there with my family as soon as you sale
all the gold.
Thank you and May God bless you and family.
Mr. Eric Osaro