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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. John Philip" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 08:47:03 -0800
My name is Mr.John Philip, a Fund Manager with Fidelity Investment, United Kingdom. One of the world's largest investment company. I have been the personal Fund Manager for the late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi for many years. You may wish to visit the link to confirm (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/20/muammar-gaddafi-dies-city-birth) Total sum of Fifteen Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Five Thousand British Pounds (15,745,000.00)GBP was invested on behalf of the late president of LIBYA under a SECRET CODE INVESTMENT where none of his personal informations was used for the investment. This is known between only both of us and not even the investment company has informations about the owner of the investment. Now that President Muammar Gaddafi is DEAD,I need a reliable and trustworthy person with whom I can work this deal out so that we can claim the funds as mentioned above. There is no risk attached and the funds in question can never be dictated or traced.
Please note that all expenses during this transaction will be solely handled by me personally.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. John Philip