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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Pedro" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 06:55:18 +0100
Subject: Chile Mining
Profits soar fast in the Latin America's mining and energy boom for the past 10 years till date where we executed series of contracts under my ministry where I was the director general of the National Copper Corporation of Chile known as CODELCO a Chilean State owned copper mining Located in Arica Chile, Now I am seeking for an experience person who is business inclined that can help us transfer the sum of $21.5 million United States dollars to his or her account for an investment in your Country, this fund resulted from an over-invoice budget from awarded contracts, the concerned contractors has been dully paid, the $21.5M was the left over which my colleague and I delibrately budget for our use to better our life, however, having said that, if you know you can be of assistance please get in touch for under sign for more details but if you know you are not willing don't bother to reply.
Thanks and high regards.