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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MR BUTAA MBIH." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 15:27:28 -0500
RE:INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP PROPOSAL.
I am an investment/financial management consultant; I represent and partners
with an investment group based in the Switzerland.
I was consulted by my client who is currently seeking means of expanding and
relocating his 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, to provide him with a reliable investment partner.
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 minimun of 10%
return on investment (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
As soon as you give your positive response to this proposal, I will
not hesitate in sending you the details information of this business.
This transaction is 100% RISK FREE.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.
REPLY TO: email@example.com
Thanks and very best regards.
MR BUTAA MBIH.