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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "on indication of your willingness to handle this transaction" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i would like to apply through this medium for your co-operation" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Elizabeth George <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 05:42:31 -0800 (PST)
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
Mrs. Elizabeth GEORGE,
Plot 286 Spintex Rd Accra Ghana.
Compliment of the day, I would like to apply through this medium for
your co-operation and to secure an opportunity to invest and do joint
business with you and my family in your country. If you can handle long
time business investment jointly with me and my children in your
I honorably intend to invest in your country into a very lucrative
business venture of which you are to advise and execute the said
venture over there for the mutual benefits of both of us. Your able
co-operation is to become my business partner in your country and
create ideas on how money will be invested, properly managed and the
type of investment after the money is transferred to your account with
Meanwhile, on indication of your willingness to handle this transaction
sincerely by protecting our interests and upon your acceptance of this
proposal, I would furnish you with the full detailed information,
procedure and amount involve. I shall be glad to reserve this respect
and opportunity for you, if you so desire, but do urge you to give the
matter your immediate attention it deserves.
Looking forward to your response, you can equally call or email me with
my private email or the above phone numbers for easy communication.
Mrs Elizabeth GEORGE and Son Michael.
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