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: "Mr. Vladislav" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 00:30:21 +0100
Subject: Require your partnership for Investment.
I am Mr. Vladislav and I got your contact from a business directory. After due considerations, I decided to contact you for discussion.
Due to the political and economic down turn in my country which led to the arrest and imprisonment of my boss, I am forced to seek for a foreign business partner who can assist me release some funds held in our company offshore bank account in Hong Kong.
You will be required to:
1. Receive the Investment funds in your name as the beneficiary from our company offshore bank account in Hong Kong.
2. Place these huge funds into profitable investment ventures in your country.
3. Seek investment ventures with an annual Return on Investment (ROI) between 5% to 10%.
4. Invest and manage the said funds for a minimum of five (5) years.
Absolute confidentiality and professionalism is required in the handling of these transaction and subsequent investments.
I look forward to your swift response after which more details would be communicated to you.