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:
- "hundred thousand u.s dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2010 03:28:51 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Assistance and compensation.
Assistance and compensation,
>From Miss Georgina asoh
Côte d'Ivoire / West Africa
My pleasure to contact you for this business venture which I intended to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk in other to succeed in life. My name is Miss Georgina asoh 20 years old,
I am in position of (Nine million Five hundred thousand U.S dollars) which my late father kept for me before he Pass away by car accident few years ago, my late father was very rich and successfully business man when he Was alive, but after the death of my parents my uncle seize everything that belongs to my late father and also Intended to kill me also, Now I want to move this money and invest it in your country or anywhere safe enough for security and political reasons. I will offer you 20% of the total funds for your assistance Please if you fill you can be trusted with this request as God review to me, do reply with the following details of yours.
Miss Georgina asoh