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:
- "your urgent reply" (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: "Mr. Herriot McGrath" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 05:36:54 -0600
Subject: LOAN INVESTMENT
I am Herriot McGrath, a financial consultant; I have a client who wants to invest huge Million USD into any profitable business in your country.
I want to know if your country’s law will allow foreign investors to come and invest in your country. He also wants you to be his fund manager, by investing the fund into any profitable business in your country as you may advice him or the fund can also be given to you as a loan with a low interest rate.
The loan is available for small, medium and large scale industrial purposes. The loan facility will be available to you as long as you have the right collateral.
Please your urgent reply will be appreciated to enable me give you more details about the investment.
Awaiting your urgent response.
Mr. Herriot McGrath