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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "money orders " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "cashiers check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
Fraud email example:
From: "SINO STEEL CORPORATION" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 14:02:10 +0100
Subject: Profitable (please read).!!!!
We are a big firm engaged in export of goods to overseas.We have won
various big exports contract at one time or the other, recently we
were (engaged) contracted to supply financial programs for market
analyzing, management project software in the United States,Germany and Australia. which
was successfully done.
Unfortunately we have faced some difficulties while receiving payment
from our software in our country as need 10-30 days to get a payment
from your country. We do not have so much time to accept wire
transfers and can't accept cashiers checks and money orders as well,
So we need your help to accept this payments in your country faster.If
you are looking to make additional profit we will accept you as our
representative in your country.
You will keep 10% of each deals we conduct. We plan to forward our
merchandise in exchange of wire transfers and check payments.
Your part is very important accept funds and forward it to us. It is
not a fulltime work but a very convenient and fast additional income.
Being our agent may grow into future branch opening in your area if
you are interested and the business will be on up and up.
We therefore solicit your assistance to help remit this money , To
facilitate this transaction if you deem you would be able to undertake
this task for the company, I would want you to submit to us via email
to : (email@example.com) with the following
information which includes;
* Full Name
* Your Qualification
* Your Contact Address (House Address)
* Telephone number/Fax
* present Occupation and Position held
* Your Age
* Do you have a company? if yes the name.
Please respond ASAP and you will get additional details on how you can
become our representative.
Joining us and starting business today will cost you nothing, just
some extra income for you.
Mr Xie Biao
SINO STEEL CORPORATION.
Import and Export.