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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Purity Qaume <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 16:34:14 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Greeting in the name of the Lord
Madam Purity Qaume.
It is my pleasure, Love & Trust to contact you for a business venture which I and my Son Musa intend to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before but I believe one has to risk confiding in succeed sometimes in life.
And i also know that you may be surprised of receiving this unsolicited mail as it may appear to be. I got your contact through your country Network online internet search in my personal search for a reliable and reputable kind person like you to render me a very confidential assistance.
I can confide in you for the brighter future of my child since you are a human being like me. There is this huge amount of Fifteen Million five hundred thousand United States dollars. ($15.500.000.00) which my late Husband kept for safe keeping in suspense account in one Famous before he was assassinated . He kept the money for investment abroad for the future of our family with out known that he is going to die like this. May his gentle and kind soul rest in peace ,Amen.
Now I and my son Musa have decided to invest this fund which is only lively hope left us in your country or anywhere safe enough for security and political reasons.
We want you to help us claim and retrieve these funds from the Bank and transfer it into your personal account in your country for investment purposes on these areas:-
2). The transport industry
3). Five star hotel
4). Real Estate.
If you can be of an assistance to us we will be pleased to offer to you 10% of the total fund after the conclusion of this transaction. I await your soonest response.
Mrs. Purity Qaume and Son