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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ghana National Petroluem Corporation" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2010 14:00:15 +0100
Subject: Ghana National Petroluem Corporation
With warm heart I offer my friendship, and greetings, and I hope this mail meets you in good time.
However strange or surprising this contact might seem to you as we have not met personally or had any dealings in the past, I humbly ask that you take due consideration of its importance and immense benefit. I duly apologize for infringing on your privacy; if this contact is not acceptable to you First and foremost I wish to introduce my self properly to you. I am Mr. Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye ,the managing director of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
I and my colleagues who are top officers in this Corporation write to seek your assistance in the transfer of over-invoiced contract amounts totaling millions of United States Dollars into an account that you will nominate. We have unanimously agreed that we will give you 40% of the total sum while 60% will be for us. I will give you other details upon receipt of your acceptance reply.
Meanwhile, you can view my position in our website:http://www.gnpcghana.com/aboutus/management.asp Send your response to my private email address;email@example.com as I will be championing this transaction on behalf of my colleagues.
Mr. Nana Boakye Asafu-Adjaye