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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "George Suzuki" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 15:04:58 -0400
Subject: Re: STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AND TO THE HIGHLY PERSONNEL!!!!
Thank you for your time reading this.
Please consider this proposal lucrative and contact me urgently if you are interested. We are a financial services and advisory company established in Bahrain. We are private limited firm made up and funded by indigenous investors and lenders as its shareholders across the gulf region, with support from the Bahrain government at our disposal.
We are interested in growing our influence and reach to other countries, through company financing and grants. Our investment criteria for funding are projects in the renewable & alternative energy sector, public and private health care services, ICT & device technology, mining and government contracts, construction
and real estate development-commerce and specialized education, deference and information technology. We also provide funding for NGO's as grants for their intended projects at its disposal.
We also give a 1% commission to brokers, who brings project owners for finance or other opportunities. For further details please contact directly with your business plans or project summary.
Email me .... firstname.lastname@example.org
Elaf Investment Group