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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: =?gb2312?B?1cVWSUNLWQ==?= <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Aug 2012 13:59:36 +0000
What we expect from your mail during reply are:
Name and address,Your telephone and fax numbers & occupation,for easy communication.
We have resolved that you take 25% of the total amount for your assistance because it is impossible for us to claim the over-invoiced amount here in Nigeria without your assistance.In addition,10% (US$4,000,000.00) has been mapped out for any miscellaneous expenses incurred by you and us during this business, and 65% is for my colleagues and myself.
All modalities to effect the payment and subsequent transfer of this money have been worked out,so this transaction is 100% risk free.I will appreciate it if you treat this business with strict confidence it demands for security reasons.It might surprise you why we choose you and trusted you for this transaction. Yes we believe that good friends can be discovered and business like this cannot be realized without trust.
This is why we have decided to trust you for this transaction. We are looking forward to doing this transaction with you. Be further informed that your interest and security had been considered before you were contacted.
Your prompt reply will be highly appreciated