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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Hamidul Haque" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:36:04 -0500
Re; Request for Partnership.
I am aware of the unsafe nature of the internet; but due to the prevailing circumstances I dont have any other option than to seek for partnership through this medium.
Permit me, My Name is Mr Hamidul Haque, Managing partner with M;s/S &H Corporation in Bangladesh
I am searching for a foreign partner who will partner with me in the completion of a Multimillion Dollar transaction.
This transaction has to do with the Asian Development Bank Financed Natural Gas Assess Improvement Project;
The transaction is 100% risk free, financially profitable and economically viable.
I am open for negotiation.
All arrangements will be made under a legitimate framework.
Full details will be disclosed to you on your expression of interest
I look forward to doing good business with you.
Mr Hamidul Haque