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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ibrahim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 03 Mar 2012 07:35:31 -0600
Subject: (INVESTMENT PROPOSAL).....
RE:INVESTMENT / BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL.
I represent a group of company based in the Switzerland and we are seeking
means of expanding and relocating our business interest abroad in the
following sectors: oil/Gas, banking, real estate, stock speculation and
mining,transportation, health sector and tobacco, Communication Services,
Agriculture Forestry & Fishing, thus any sector.
If you have a solid background and idea of making good profit in any of the
mentioned business sectors or any other business in your country, Please write
me for possible business co-operation. More so, we are ready to facilitate and
fund any business that is capable of generating 10% annual return on
(AROI) Joint Venture partnership and Hard loan funding can also be considered.
I am confident that you will give your consideration to this proposal and
respond positively within a short period of time. I am available to discuss
this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have in regard to
this investment. As soon as you give your positive response to this
will not hesitate in sending you the details information of this great
investment partnership opportunity.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.