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:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "James Mambo" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2014 17:33:35 -0700
Subject: Letter Of Intent..
I am contacting you with a good faith and believing that you are going to assist me in this transaction. Do not see this email as one of those scam mails. I need
your assistance for a transaction of $85million dollars belong to my late client , Muammar al-Gaddafi ,Former president of Libya.
After his death all his family members where arrested and I shifted the fund to escrow account so that nobody will have access to the fund. I want to invest the fund
in your country all I want from you is your honesty and sincerity. You have to promise me that you are not going to expose me.We have to sign an agreement that I will give you 30% for your assistance in this transaction. Please kindly get back to me and let me know the line of business where we can invest this money in your country send me your full name address and Mobile number.
Mr. James Mambo