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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states 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.
- 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: Peter Robert <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 08:55:26 -0800 (PST)
Subject: ASSISTANCE AND INVESTMENT.
My name is Mr Peter Robert the chairman Public Procurement Board Republic
of Ghana In west Africa,I have been motivated to contact you on a vital
issue which i see as been important in your country through you.
I have decided to establish contact with you for project assistance as soon
as I am able to conclude with you and handover the necessary information for this investment project, which the fund meant for,it is already with a financial firm.
There are two basic things i would want you to assist me in;(1) Helping by making company registration with your name and mine in your country after the collection of this funds from the financial firm where it was deposited.
This is because of my inability to travel out of the country now,which i am taking one of the important position in government at the moment which i will explain better to you upon the receipt of your acceptance.
(2)Helping me to carry out feasibility study on areas/choice of investment you dream best. I will be retire soon as chairman contract public procurement board and was the last personal financial adviser to the committee before this position now and I have intention of carrying out further investment programme in your country for reasons;
But note,that i contacted you because,we are not allowed to operate on foreign account transaction or international investment while in service.
our work is to bid,approve,re-view contract project to government.and the only way we can benefit from this is over quotation of contract price with the assistant of most contractors who agreed on our terms, so i have to be truthful to you and assured YOU the source of this fund.
If you can assist on this please ONLY enclose your phone and fax numbers and address to reach you,and i will give you details for the collection of this funds now. For your assistant In receiving this fund on this you will take out 30% as your Commission and leave the remaining one for me.
The Amounts is Five Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only ($5.8m). Please you can reach me on this my private email address as appears email :firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Peter Robert.