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 would like to apply through this medium for your co-operation" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "S. Annabel" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 06:07:53 -0700 (PDT)
Greetings Â Â Â Â Â Â I am Miss. Annabel Sheriff, I would like to apply through this medium for your co-operation and to secure an opportunity to invest and do joint business with you in your country. I have a substantial capital, I honorably intend to invest in your country into a very lucrative business venture of which you are to advise and execute the said venture over there for the mutual benefits of both of us. Your able co-operation is to become my business partner in your country and create ideas on how money will be invested, properly managed and the type of investment. Because have little or knowÂ acknowledged about foreign investments Â I shall be glad to reserve this respect and opportunity for you, if you so desire, but do urge you to give the matter your immediate attention it deserves. If this proposal is acceptable by you, your urgent reply is highly needed today, for more details informationâs and oral talks. Best regards, and have a
great day. Â Yours Faithfully, Miss. Annabel Sheriff. Â