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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Michael Sunta" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 03:08:31 +0800 (CST)
Subject: PRATNERSHIP NEEDED
Greetings My Dear Friend,Â I want to introduce myself and this business opportunity to you. My Name is Michael Sunta, I am the Head of Finance/Contract Approval Department of Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture. I wish to know if we can work together.Â I would like to use my position in the establishment to recommend you as the business associate to a deceased contractor so that you can receive the fund for our own benefits and business partnership. The deceased contractor has unpaid contract balance payment of (â¬7,800,000.00 Euros) for supply of raw materials and installation of equiments to our Industry.Â He died eight weeks after the completion of the contract project without any registered business partner in his file. If this proposal is acceptable to you, kindly send the information stated below to me to enable me give you comprehensive details on what we are to do to get this transaction concluded:Â Complete namesPrivate
telephone numberContact addressPrivate emailÂ I look forward to your interest in the partnership.Â Yours Faithfully,MICHAEL SUNTA.Â Â