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)
- "commission of 10%" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Engr. Zenwa" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:02:14 -0700
Subject: INVESTMENT PROJECT ) mo- mo
We've been trying to reach you several times without success. We are trying if this email can get into your inbox to explain our investment intentions to you.
We are contacting you briefly based on the upcoming project Investment that will commence shortly in your country, as I presently have a client who is interested to investing in your country, but She has never done business in your country before. I wish we find it imperative to work in partnership.
Hence upon receipt of this letter, I implore you to kindly respond to us with your Data and your Company profile and also let me know how possible it is to work together in partnership under the following conditions below:
1. My client's investment fund is almost ready but willing and able to invest immediately.
2. My client will pay you commission of 10% of the investment fund for logistics and protocols upon the conclusion of the project.
3. My client desires absolute confidentiality in the handling and management of this project within 10 years.
We must draw your attention to the fact that I have kept the information's here in this letter stated brief; as I do not know if you will receive this letter and or what your response will be, If you do have the interest and the capability to partner with her under the above stated conditions, we will appreciate your immediate response sent back to me.
We will appreciate that you include your Data and profile of your company for we to appreciate your personality better.
We look forward to your response and our partner.
Engr Fred Zen.
ZENWA CONSTRUCTION CO LTD BF
+226 745 222 28