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: "Mark Herbert" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 19:46:15 +0800
Subject: INVESTMENT PROJECT.
I am Mr. Mark Herbert, writing to inform you of our desire to invest in your country on behalf of Dato faizal abdullah.
Considering his very strategic, influential position in his country, he hopes that the transaction is strictly confidential as possible. Also, want to disclose his identity at least for now, until the completion of the transaction.
Hence our desire to have you as our agent abroad to protect and invest his funds in a profitable business, I have therefore been directed to know if you would agree to act as a foreign agent in order to update this transaction.
If you can handle this, then you can come back to me via email.
Mr. Mark Herbert