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 us 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:
From: "\"From: \"Mrs.P\"\"" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:51:00 +0100
Subject: YOUR RESPONSE NEEDED.....
My name is Ms. P.Cheffe, I work for a diamond company in London, UK. There is a product my company needs
from UAE.The product is our major raw material which we use for the manufacturing of our Diamond Jewelries,
we buy a gram of the product for $580usd from dealers in London, Recently I discovered a dealer in UAE
through a friend in Botswana that offered me a gram of the product for $380usd and quality is the same, I
offered my company $500 per gram and they are very happy to buy 20kg.
Our personal profit in 20kg of the product is $2.400.000.00 (two million four hundred thousand US Dollars).
I am contacting you because the purchasing manager of our company will be traveling to UAE for the purchase
of the materials in few weeks time. You will act as the middle marketer between the main UAE Dealers of this
product and our company, in the sense that you will buy this product from the main dealers at the rate of
$380/per gram and sell to our company's PM at the rate of $500 per gram after I have introduced you to our
company's PM as the main dealer of this product, and also given you the main dealer's contact in UAE for you
to contact them and know the current price and availability of the product in their stock for now.
My Company is presently running out of stock of this material. If you are interested and promise to be honest
with me in this business please do get in contact with me so that we can reach an agreement on how to share
the profit margin. I only want you to assure me that you will be honest with me, and also keep this business
secret between both of us, So that our company will not realize my personal interest on this transaction, because
if they do, I will loss my job and also my career will be jeopardized.
I will give you more details about the business upon your reply to my email and I will also guide you through to the
success of the transaction.
Hope to be hearing from you soonest.