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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MRS CHRISY MORRIS <INFO@wss-id.org>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 17:25:49 +0200
I KNOW THIS LETTER WILL COME TO YOU AS A SUPRISE, BUT I GOT YOUR CONTACT THROUGH INDIA BUSINESS SEARCH IN THE INTERNET AND I DECIDED TO MAKE THIS PROPOSAL TO YOU.
MEANWHILE I AM MRS CHRISY MORRIS AND I WORK WITH ROACH HERBS INTERNATIONAL LABORATORY COMPANY-UK, I AM THE PERSONAL SECRETARY TO THE DIRECTOR; I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR A LONG TIME FOR SOME ONE WHOM I CAN TRANSACT THIS BUSINESS WITH TRUST.
MY COMPANY NEED THIS PRODUCT VERONICA HERBAL SEED URGENT AND IT CAN ONLY BE FOUND IN INDIA AT THIS MOMENT, I HAVE THE CONTACT OF THE LOCAL DEALER IN INDIA WITH ME.
ALL I AM ASKING YOU TO DO IS JUST TO INVEST IN BUYING THIS PRODUCT FROM THE LOCAL DEALER IN INDIA, AND SELL TO MY COMPANY AT HIGHER RATE, YOU CAN JUST GIVE ME 30 PERCENT OF THE PROFIT AFTER THE BUSINESS, THIS IS JUST A KIND OF BUYING AND SELLING.
WE CAN GET THIS PRODUCT AT $70 or $80 DOLLAR IN INDIA PER SACHET 5GRAMS, THEN WE CAN SUPPLY TO OUR COMPANY AT RATE OF $180 DOLLAR, AND MY COMPANY BUYS AS MUCH AS HOW MANY QUANTITY YOU CAN SUPPLY.
NOTE MY COMPANY WILL BE SENDING SOMEONE TO YOUR COUNTRY FOR THE SUPPLY AS SOON AS YOU CONCLUDE WITH THEM, AND THEY PAY CASH AT POINT OF DELIVERY IN YOUR COUNTRY.
REPLY BACK IMMEDIATELY IF YOU CAN HANDLE THIS FOR ME.
MRS CHRISY MORRIS