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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "i want to solicit your attention" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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: "Mou Xinsheng" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 20:58:28 -0700
Subject: My Regards!!!
Let me introduce myself,my name is Mou Xinsheng (Minister of General
Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of China).I have a secured
business proposal for you,which i believe will be beneficial to both of us i
want to solicit your attention.The purpose of my contacting you is because you
live outside China.
Actually i got your contact during my discreet search for a
reliable,successfull,business oriented partner from the Microsoft Corporation
Email Database here in China.I feel it would be huge surprise for you to receive
such email from a serving minister of the People?? Republic of China.I will give
you more information about myself and the business.My name is Mou Xinsheng
(Minister of General Administration of Customs of the Peoples Republic of
China). Forgive me if you see my business proposal as shameful and not honorable
because of my governmental status. But please excuse me and understand that this
is the situation I am and must find a credible partner outside China.In my years
of government service as Narcotics Control Commission and General
Administration of Customs, I have received kick backs from smugglers and
business people seeking favors from me and as a public officer my bank accounts
are monitored hence I diverted the funds Fifty million United States dollars for
safe keeping abroad. I want you to receive the money which has been in deposit
since the last Three years. When the money is in your bank account, I want to
use Sixty Percent of the money for charity to help orphanage Children suffering
(You will spare head this project and my name will not be mentioned).You will
receive Twenty Percent as your commission and I will take the remaining Twenty
Percent as my share which I intend to settle with outside China.Please consider
this proposal and reply to me soon.It will certainly do you no good to report me
to my government authorities or divulge this information to anybody because
doing so will only destroy my person and my career.
If you are interested in my proposal,please contact me.I will send you more information
about myself and this proposal.
???????? ???? ?????????? ???? ??????