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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Chris Kenny" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 03:02:42 -0800
Subject: Investment Partnership
My name is barrister Chris Kenny. I am a financial consultant/attorney for capital oil & gas company for the sales and lifting of crude oil in Sao Tome & Principe.At the end of my consultancy, I was paid total sum of $9,500,000.00 (Nine Million five hundred thousand United States Dollars Only)I have decided my money should be used for investment purpose in any good business that will generate profit and return on investment.I want to partner with you,can you send me a brief summary of any good business investment plan you think we can invest this funds that will generate good profit. The investment plan will last for a period of ten years and whatever profit realized will be shared among us 60.
If you are willing to assist and partner with me in this business venture, I need you to understand that there is no risk involved. This transaction is 100% risk free as I followed the rules of law and secured all the necessary documentation to back up this funds and investment plan.
If you are interested and willing to partner with me please send me the following at once.
1) YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS
2) YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER
Once I receive this information from you, I will use them to secure all the necessary documentation involved and also prepare a joint venture partnership agreement that will bind us in this investment plan.
I look forward to hearing from you
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