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:
- "your loan " (Beware of fake loan offers. Real lenders would not normally use free webmail addresses such as Yahoo, nor would they lend to individuals or small businesses in a different country from where they are based. Beware of mobile phones or redirector numbers!)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Ethan Michelle" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 04:47:18 +0800
Subject: Project Funding.
I request cooperation with you in the sphere of financing viable proj=
ects with prospective returns on investment (R.O.I) in your region. Y=
our Projects can be funded from 0% to 100% because I represent Ultra-=
High Net-worth investor Group who are finding viable projects to fund=
under the supervision of their consultancy mediator firm with an 5% =
interest rate and a total period of 10years. If you don=92t have any =
viable project, then i implore you to source from your colleagues or =
friends that have genuine project yet to be financed due to inadequat=
e funding, my commission is 1% after you collect your loan funds. For=
more information do get back to me at your earliest convenience, or =
kindly get my CEO. added on Skype ID. (manfred12380) for a faster com=
munication and always get back to me.
Name: Ethan Michelle