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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "can i trust you?" (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: "Sgt. Anita" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:49:11 +0400
Subject: Sgt. Shaw
Greetings, I really wish to have you as my good friend and also wishes to entrust some funds into your care but i have already send the fund out of Iraq. I need your sincere and truthful friendship. My name is Sgt. Anita Shaw. I am serving in United States of America Victory Camp near Baghdad .
I have $6.5 Million US dollars that i successfully moved out of the country. I need a good partner someone i can trust. It is oil business money we did with Iraqi citizens worth of 42 million US dollars, but the 6.5 million us dollars stated is my share on the business and its legal. I have successfully moved the funds out of Iraq as a family valuables with help of Universal Financial Diplomatic Company through their branch in Middle East.
The most important thing is ''' Can I Trust You? Once the funds get to you, you take your 30% out and keep my own 70%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where my part of the funds will be until i come and meet with you for discussions on investment plans, but i have more interest on real estate or any other profitable investment . If you are interested I will furnish you with more details.
But the whole process is simple and we must keep a low profile at all times.
I look forward to your reply and co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate your co-operation waiting for your urgent response to my email ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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