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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Robert Viera,(CEO)" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 01:27:11 +0100
Subject: Your responds will be appreciated!
My name is Mr. Robert Viera the CEO of VROBERT HOLDINGS, London UK and i require your partnership representation for our North American customers to help me receive payment with any of your secured medium of payment (SMP) account type( which could be either of home equity line of credit -HELOC or LOC Account or An Attorney trust account) if you own any of these two account specification.
i am willing to offer you 10% for your service for whatever amount that is recieved by you through this account. I sell my products to my customers in U.S.A and Canada which i find it very difficult in recieving my payments from them in the past as they have requested such secured medium of payment(SMP) I have had a lot of experiences in the past when they were paying through checks and money orders.
We now accepted that all payments should be made by swift wire transfer into a home equity line of credit account in the United Sates.
The reason why they requested for such account is that the funds will be more secured into such account and the IRS will never question any amount of money coming in or going out of the account.
I need you to be my representative in the United States if you own such account. I will offer you 10% of any of my payment that passed through your home equity line of credit account as i have earlier stated.
You will require to make no expense during the course of this transaction.
This transaction is 100% legal and does not relate to money laundering and is free from Drug money. The amount of money depends on the volume of facilities sold which ranges from US$250,000-US$5Million and above depending on the limit of your account. I will send you detail of the modalities of this transaction as soon as i hear from you.
I will forward a copy of my identification to you as we progress with this transaction.,we are of the opinion that the ability to consolidate payments from North America will eradicate delays due to inter-continental monetary transaction between Asia and North America. Hence i am seeking and requesting for your partnership and assistance to be my executive and regional company representative there in the USA and i will provide the necessary authorization to our customers to get in touch with with you once you have accepted my request and probably have your details in our file here and we are most inclined to commence talks as soon as possible.
Your consideration of our request is highly anticipated and we look forward to your prompt response and acceptance.