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:
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "WING WAN COMPANY CHINA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 16:10:44 +0700 (WIT)
Subject: ENQUIRY: WORK AND EARN 10% (RESUME)
Good day, I represent WING WAN TEXTILE Textiles a reputable company here
in the Asia. We produce and distribute clothing materials such as batiks,
assorted fabrics and traditional costume worldwide. Would you like to work
online from home and get paid on each transaction? Wing Wan Textiles needs
a Book-Keeper in the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, Mexico,
Australia and parts of Europe. You could work from home and getting paid
for the services being rendered without leaving or affecting your present
job. Wing Wan Textiles is recruiting individuals to work for the company
as representatives in the countries listed above. You will earn 10%
commission of each payment you receive from our customers.If you
interested get back to us with your
ADDRESS (NOT P O BOX)
PHONE NUMBER (S)