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:
- ",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. Johnson Harris" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 17:48:40 +0000
Subject: Business Investment.
Dear Future Partner,
My Name is Mr. Johnson Harris, I work as the
head of Fund Manager Executive with UBS AG Investment BANK LONDON UK
and would like to know if you will be at my disposal to strike a risk
free deal with me.
I have used my position as the Fund Executive
Manage to divert the sum of £15,500,000.00 pounds (GBP)from our
Investor's Capital Management Funds under to my Portfolio and
hereinafter would like to know if you are interested to work with me to
receive this funds in your account without any legal implication
attached. Our sharing ratio is 50:50 since it is a fair deal. I will
provide further information on the above subject matter upon the
receipt of your favorable response. You can as well enclose your direct
telephone numbers for discussion of this offer in further