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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million british pounds" (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:
From: "Richard" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Jan 2011 22:51:47 -0800
Subject: How are you.
From: Richard Bramson
I write to request your co-operation in my desire to find a foreign partner who will assist me in the relocation and investment of the sum of Fifteen million British Pounds Sterling Only ,which is presently available and in my possession. Tough i have not met with you before but I believe, one has to risk confiding in someone to succeed sometime in life. Presently, I am a serving government functionary in my Native Country. The money was realized from gratification/kickbacks which were received from foreign contractors who executed contracts for my country in the last 2 years.
I am unable to travel out now, so I shall be glad if you can stand as beneficiary to receive this money in your account, and also nominate a good investment facility in your country where the fund will be placed, for profits making. I am offering you 40% of total sum after the transfer. I also want to assure you that there is no risk attach to you in this business. I am counting on your sense of confidentiality, as it is my desire that you keep this business to yourself. However if you are willing to assist me in this venture I will be very grateful to hear from you and bring you into a much better picture of the situation. Feel free to send to me the Following details you will find below, to enable us start the process:
1. Your full Names and contact Address.
2. Your private Telephone, cell phone and fax numbers.
I look forward to receive your prompt response.
Mr. Richard Bramson.