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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: isabella seyyed <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:15:17 +0000
Subject: Fund Transfer
Hello Dear friend
I have sent you this e-mail for open discussions with you. I don't want you to misunderstand this offer in any aspect...if it is okay with you, I ask for your full cooperation. I have contacted you base on trust to handle an investment in your country/company on my behalf as a prospective partner.
My name is Isabella Seyyed It might interest you to know that I have US$1.600, 000.00, One million Six Hundred thousand deposited by late father with a financial institution I want your partnership for investing the fund in your country/company. It is pertinent to ask if you can handle this fund/investment in your country, give all the necessary details about the financial institution for more information. Meanwhile, I am very honest in my dealings with people and I also demand the same from you as a Partner to be. Can I trust you with this fund?
I want you to note that this is a mutual business venture as there is a reward for your assistance. I shall let you know your benefit for your assistance as we proceed. For a more comprehensive about details of the fund, please contact me as soon as possible. If you find this letter offensive, please ignore it and accept my apologies.