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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr khalifa <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:41:48 +0800
Subject: Dr Khalifa!
U.A.E: METRO PROJECTS.
Compliments of the day to you (salam-alaikum) I am Dr Khalifa Musa the chairman of the U.A.E Tenders Board. I am making this contact based on my urgent need for a reliable and honest business man or woman who can assist me with a MONEY TRANSFER DEAL AND RAISE AN INVOICE in the tune of the amount stated below. And I hope you will keep this as a top secret because, I am a government official under strict conditions and not permitted to operate offshore bank accounts or own any investments home and abroad while in service. The deal is absolutely risk free, only need a foreign partner with a good financial background to authenticate the deal which will give birth to the immediate approval of the funds in your name.
A contract we awarded to a foreign firm handling a part of the U.A.E Metro-Projects was over invoiced deliberately to the tune of 25.2 million (United States Dollars). The deal is this, you will only be presented as a contractor who had supplied a product and rendered some services worth this sum and yet to be fully paid, thereafter our international bank account officer in Europe or in Asia will contact you for the re-confirmation of your personal data, then the funds will be wired after a strong confirmation letter from home office must have been sent to them.
Will you be able to assist in this beneficial transaction? as I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum, while my share shall be invested in your line of business for security reasons. If you can, please send me your Full Name... Address... Tel... Occupation Age... for the immediate commencement of the official actions.
Dr Khalifa Musa.