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:
- "ecowas " (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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: office4423 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 11:21:00 -0430 (VET)
Subject: URGENT SUPPLY OF YOUR PRODUCT NEEDED,REPLY
Government of Ghana & ECOWAS Tender
My name is Wilson Asah . I am a government accredited commission agent, looking for manufacturers in your field, whose products are certified as good quality products. We need different kinds of products that you offer, and you can reach us for effective and efficient business.
Please furnish us with full details of the standards of your products.
We will appreciate it more, if you give us detailed specification, website, and price lists. Also, we would like to know of your payment terms and the difference when we place a large order. Your prompt and detailed response will be appreciated. I await your prompt response.
Agent:Mr. Wilson Asah.