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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "industrial and commercial bank of china" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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: "Mr. Kenneth Patrick Chung" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 00:38:21 +0200
Subject: #Investment and Management Placement#
RE: Capital Investment and Management Placement:
I am Mr Kenneth Patrick Chung an Independent Non-Executive Director of
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited facilitating for a
private investor who is facing crisis in his country and he urgently
wants to relocate and invest his funds in long-term business venture
in your country/company under your supervision.
You will be required to;
. Receive the funds.
. Invest and Manage the funds profitably.
The amount available for the investment is over Forty Two Million
United States Dollars. The customer is willing to give 15% as a
partner and another 10% as Management Commission as soon as the funds
arrives your bank account.
If you are interested, send an email only to me for further details,
or give me a call on my number below for the terms and agreement as I
am presently in the UK.
We expect to hear from you urgently as this is a high priority
Investment Placement and kindly send the following information to
1). Full Names and Address
2). Company Name and Address
3). Telephone, Fax and Cell phone numbers.
We are looking forward to your swift response to this mail with the
Mr. Kenneth Patrick Chung
ICBC Head Office & City Branch:
81 King William Street