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:
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Chelsea Hitaki <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Chelsea Hitaki <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:35:53 -0300 (BRT)
I must first apologize for initiating such a medium of communication between us. I am Chelsea H. an executive with GIC GLOBAL and we propose to collaborate with your esteemed company to act as our representative (intermediary between GIC GLOBAL and its customers in your region).
- Flexible Schedule
- Boost your business growth and productivity
- Connects you with possible customers
- Attract more customers to your business
- Over $1,000 basic salary once every two weeks
- 7.5% commission from every processed operation.
If interested, contact us with the below information via email email@example.com
Best time to reach you:
Do you own a Company? YES/NO
This is a diamond opportunity for you to grow your business or as an individual (In the absence of a company, we can also collaborate with you as an individual but with different benefits) no matter your field of specialization or business sector. Your response is highly anticipated, do get back to us for further information.
Ms. Chelsea Hitaki