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:
- "hundred thousand 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: "WILLIAM COLGATE II" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 19:04:14 -0700
Subject: OPPORTUNITY FROM EXXONMOBIL
I'm William Colgate II, a representative of Exxon Mobil in London (http://www.exxonmobil.com).
I have a sensitive and private brief from the Senior Executives of this top oil company in need of your partnership to re-profile funds amounting to US$12.2M (Twelve Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). I will let you have the details, but in summary, the fund would be paid to you through a Finance Company where it is presently deposited as soon as the filing and documentation process is concluded in your name.
This is a legitimate transaction without government interference and you shall be compensated with 20% of the total sum, should you and your company agrees to work with us.
If you are interested, please reply for further details.
William Colgate II