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:
- "00,000.00" (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: "Ben" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 16:31:16 +0100
Subject: I NEED YOUR PARTNERSHIP..
My dear One,
My name is Mr. Ben Kossi, the Secretary to the incumbent Government Mr. Laurent Gbagbo president of Cote d Ivory in West Africa , I have funds 800,000.00 US dollars, in my possession which the president handed over to me to pay inn before the political crises. I want to move this fund(s) that where about to be moved into federal government account because there is no ownership to the fund(s). All I need from you is your interest to be my foreign partner so that things will be done with cordial relationship, equity and rationality.
I have a plan to load the fund in ATM MASTER CARDS and send them to you through bank so that the fund will be withdrawn from the card on daily basis until we have the last cent, otherwise using any other method will involve a lot of processes that will eventually not come to an end like getting several certificates, payments of insurance fee(s), then using diplomats and lots more. If you assure me of your partnership I will show you the simple way this can be done and in less than five days we will celebrate.