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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ho Choi" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 22:07:47 +0100
Subject: I'LL LIKE TO INVEST IN YOUR IDEA AND COUNTRY
I am Mr.Ho Choi, a Korean (South) oil veteran looking for new opportunities to invest in small and medium businesses to assist others grow.Found your email on some websites where small businesses are discussed. Which made me think it would be nice to talk to you. I'm pretty aged right now and have donated most of my fortune to charities in Asia,Europe ETC. And taught it would be nice to invest in other people ideas.
I worked in the oil industry for over 47years of my life, I don't think anything in the oil industry makes any interest to me anymore. I would be interested in a business that would be easy to manage and beneficial of course. If you could prepare a simple one page business plan that would be brief for me to read quickly, I might be interested.
Before I forget, please let me know what country you live.