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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "samuel koba" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2009 16:25:55 +0100
Subject: Act As The Administrator Of Fund
My name is Samuel koba from Angola; I am currently in Ghana as asylum seeker for protection, because my late father was killed by the Government of the day . I am the only child of Brigt General koba Neto of Angola army; he was in charge of procurement of arms and ammunition during the time of civil war in Angola.
My late father deposited the Sum of $18.6 million dollars with a security company in Ghana. He gave standing order to the security company that I must present
a business partner [Who will act as the administrator of the fund] as condition of release the fund;
This is to ensure effective management of the fund, due to my age at the time of deposit.
For your involvement in this receiving and safekeeping of this fund, I will offer you 25% of the total sum.
Please send your private/cell phone number for more details