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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "30% for you " (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: ABIYE MEMBERE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:14:21 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
This message might come to you in utmost surprise, I am Mr. Abiye Membere,Â Ex. Group Managing Director (Exploration & Production) Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. I have a business proposal which involvesÂ $35m USD, (Thirty Five Million United States dollars only). Accrues from excess SUBSIDY APPROPRIATION.
However, you will be required to: (A) Assist in the transfer of the said funds (B) Advise on lucrative areas of investment (C) Assist us in the proposed investment company.
After successful transfer, we shall share in the ratio of 30% for you and 65% for us while 5% for expenses. If you will be interested, please contact me through my private email address so that I can give you more information on how we would handle this project, so as to commence the arrangements.
I look forward for your kind and positive response to my private email
Mr. Abiye Membere