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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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: "MR. BEN HALEH" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 22:02:52 +0530 (IST)
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU TO HANDLE THIS PROJECT?n
Dear Friend,Â I have a proposal for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honour the content against your will. I am Mr.Haleh Ben, an Accountant with a bank in west Africa. I will like you to indicate your interest to receive the transfer of US$8.5 Million. I got your contact from the Internet on my search for Honest/ Reliable person or company to execute this business together.Â SUBJECT: After due consideration, I have fully agreed to privately invest extensively in a very business venture. I am intending to retire from government services to private business I decided to contact you for an urgent business proposal. I have decided to deal with a neutral person like you because of the nature of the transaction as I will equally be happy to arrange with you on terms of trade and possible transfer of the funds needed for the investment into your companyâs account or personal account.
Now I want an account overseas where the bank will transfer this fund.Thereafter, I will destroy all related documents to this account. It is a careful network and for the past eleven months I have worked out everything to ensure a hitch-free. The amount plus all the accumulated interest is US$8,500,000.00 (Eight million, Five hundred thousand US Dollars only).
Now my questions are: -Â 1. Can you handle this project?2. Can I give you this trust?Â Consider these and get back to me as soon as possible with your Â 1.Full name: Â 2.Address:Â 3.Country:Â 4. Private cell phone: 5. Occupation: 6. Age.Â Finally I want you to assure me that you will work on my instruction and my own share of the money will be safe. You will be rewarded with (40% which is $3.4 million) of the total sum for your honest assistance and co-operation, (60% which is $5.1 Million) remain for me.Â Yours Sincerely,MR.HALEH BEN.Â