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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "sombat sawasdiphol" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 15:37:36 +0700
Subject: BUSINESS INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
BUSINESS INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
It is my honor and with a heart deep of humiliation and seeking good consolation that I seek to write to you.
My name is Sombat Sawasdipol the daughter of Late Maj.Gen.Khattiya Sawasdipol from Thailand now exile in Cambodia.
My Late Father Maj.Gen.Khattiya Sawasdipol was the leader of the Anti- government protesters("The Red Shirts") who was shot on the head on 13th May 2010 while he was granting an interview with the New york times.
You can read more on my later father's murder on this Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/world/asia/14thai.html.
The government has seized all the multi billion dollar companies owned by my late father and his partners. They have also frozen his bank accounts.
I write to seek your assistance in investing the fund amounting US$21.6 Million [Twenty One Million, Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars]with 85 kg which my late father deposited in the neighbouring country Cambodia.
I will give you all the legitimate information concerning the fund and details about me on hearing from you.
You are assured that you will have much benefit as you assist me in this regard to secure this fund. I ran to Cambodia for the safety of my life and all my documents have been seized, so kindly get back to me for more details.
Please do not disclose any part of this message if you are not interested in giving this profitable assistance.