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)
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR JOHN SMILE" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 09:33:00 +0800
Subject: I NEED TRUST AND HONESTY
I am a business man based in asia, i am currently seeking means of expanding my business interest in the following sectors:banking,real estate,agriculture,stock speculation,mining and i also give out LOAN for individual and companies with a viable business and also FINANCE big PROJECTS for companies. If you think you have a solid background and an idea of making good profit in any of the mentioned business sector in your country, please write me for possible business co-operation.
Moreso, i am ready to facilitate and fund any business that is capable of generating 10% annual return on investment(AROI).
Please indicate your interest as soon as possible and send your full details.
(1) Your full name:
(2) Contact home address:
(3) Your occupation:
(4) Your contact telephone numbers & email address:
I will like you to contact me only through my direct email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward for a possible business collaboration with you.
Awaiting your response,
Mr John Smile