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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Hu Huimin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 15:45:28 +0000 (WET)
Subject: Imbibe Trust!!!
Compliment Of The Day,
I am Mrs. Hu Huimin, account officer of the local branch of Hang Seng Bank Ltd,Kow loon Branches, Hong Kong, pardon me for disturbing your privacy.I am contacting you because i know i can trust you with this information.I hereby seek your services in helping me receive a large amount of money in giving a clear research and feasibility studies on areas i could invest.Your Advise is very crucial as per the investment of the funds and will be paid for.
As an account officer, I can not operate any personal investment till I am retired because of the Anti-corruption Bill passed in Hong Kong,it is risky for a fixed income earner to own any huge amount of money in Hong Kong or any foreign country. It is then advisable to invest in a foreign land secretly and patiently wait for the dividend upon retirement.
I have carefully planned this out and all the necessary information will be passed ac crossed upon your contact, I will prefer will contact each other via mail as i cannot acknowledge any phone call. Only contact me with this code:[HU:GD-001].
Please if interested, do send the following details:Your Full Names, Contact Address, Phone Number, Occupation, Sex. I will provide you with further details once you contact me. Do reach me with this mail address:email@example.com
My Kind Regards