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)
- "money orders " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "cheques " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
Fraud email example:
From: "Weiqiao Textile Company Limited" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Weiqiao Textile Company Limited" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2009 23:24:12 +1000
Subject: JOB OFFER!!!!
Weiqiao Textile Company Limited
NO.1 WEIFANG ROAD, ZOUPING ECONOMIC ZONE,SHANDONG,CHINA 256200
I represent The above named Company based in China. My company is
principally engaged in the production, sale and distribution of cotton yarn,
grey fabric and denim Products for world trade.We are searching for
representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting to our
customers in Europe and South America and North America as well as making
payments through you as our payment officer.
I as the UK branch officer of this multinational company have been
directed to relate with you because of the communication problem faced
by most of our Board Member since many of them cannot read, speak or write
English Language except Chinnese which is our official Language Fluently.
In view of this you are expected to relate directly with me as the company
representative since i have been mandated to contact you and give them
frequent update about our activities.
Most of our customers pay out in cash, cheques or money orders or
and,It is upon this note that we seek your assistance to stand in
as our representative in your country.
Note that Details of your account may be needed in this transaction,
Also, as our representative,you will receive 10% of whatever amount you
clear for the company and the balance will be paid to us.
If you are interested in this business transaction please fill this
form below and get back to us as soon as possible Distributor/Receiving
account Form Title please select Ms Mr Mrs Dr
YOUR FULL INFORMATION AND CONTACT ADDRESS:
1) Your full Name:...........................
2) Phone, Fax and mobile .........................
3) Company name, position and address ............
4) Profession, age and marital status.............
5) Copy of Drivers License or Valid I.D. Scanned Copy...............
6) Your Bank Name :............................
7) Your Bank Address : :...........................
8) Your Bank Account Name :...........................
Please also let us know the best time to reach you on phone especially as we
have a difference in time.
I shall love to hear from you soonest.
Thank you for your time.
Reply Email via: firstname.lastname@example.org
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