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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Wang yan" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2011 05:01:34 +1030
I am the operations manager of a top bank in Hong Kong.I have an
obscured business suggestion for you.I am here-by seeking your service
in helping me recieve a large amount of money and in giving a clear
research and feasibility studies on areas I could invest on. Your
services will be paid for, and you will be a partner, if your
recommendation is accepted.
As a bank employee, I can not operate any personal investment till I
am retired and with the anti-corruption bill passed in Hong Kong; it
is risky for a fixed income earner to own any large amount of funds in
Hong Kong or any foreign country. It is then advisable to invest in
any foreign land secretly and patiently wait retirement.
Should you be further interested, I would prefer you to reach me soon
and finally after that I
shall provide you with more details of this operation.