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:
- "million us dollars" (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. Chang" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2012 05:12:53 -0800
Subject: Urgent need of Investor.
Dear Prospective Partner,
I am writing to you on behalf of Mr. Chen Shui-bian. My name is Mr.Harry Chang and I am a junior staff here at the Bank of The East Asia Ltd.
My friend Mr. Chen Shui-bian has presented a subtle offer which will need the help of a partner like you to complete successfully. Mr. Chen Shui-bian is in a difficult situation and he must immediately relocate certain sums of money out of the Bank of The East Asia Ltd ,Singapore. More so, this must be done in such a way that it must not be tied to Mr. Chen. The sum is currently deposited in the name of an existing legal entity. Your role will be to:
. Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
. Receive the funds into a business/private bank account.
. Invest/Manage the funds outside of Singapore.
. Value of funds: $39 Million US Dollars.
[5}. Private Email Address:
Everything will be done legally to ensure the rights to the funds are transferred to you. If you agree to partner with Mr. Chen, he will compensate you with 30% of the total sum. Should you prefer I re-contact you with more express facts, you can send me your:
 Official Full Names:
 Company or Personal profile:
 Daytime Telephone No:
 Confidential email address:
For Mr. Chen Shui-bian's current profile visit this site: