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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Prince Jefri Bolkiah" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 05:36:32 -0400
Subject: Please, I need your honest Assistance ($150M) !!
Assalam Halaikum to you and your family; and Ramadan Kareem !
Let me start by introducing myself to you, I am "Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei", the embattled Brother to the Sultan of Brunei HRM Sultan Hassan al Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah.
I got your contact from the Chamber of Commerce here which is why i am contacting you in relation to the problems i am having with my brother and how he is gradually taking away all my assets and also liquidating my cash systematically.
Our problems began when he accused me of using some funds meant for state use personally and that has created a big gulf between us to the extent that my brother is plotting my downfall.
It is in view of this fact that i am contacting you to help transfer the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Million United States Dollars($150,000,000.00) which i hid in a Bank in London when i was in charge of oversea investment for the kingdom to your account.
I have already concluded with the Bank officials and also the Security company officials in payment offices for the successful transfer of the funds to you after which 40% of the money will be for you, 60% for me and both sides will have to mutually cover any expenses that will be incurred in the course of collection of the money.
Once you collect this money, you will invest half of my own percentage for me in your investment ventures and portfolios in your country and keep the remaining for me on trust based on when i will settle with my brother so that i can travel to meet you in your country for sharing and investment as I contacted you knowing that you have the financial muscle to execute the transaction and also the technical know how and experience to invest the funds.
Please, contact me immediately so that i can give you the details of the 'Modus Oparandi' to be employed in successfully transfering these funds to you.
Prince Ali Jefri Khalid Bolkiah.