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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alexander - .ec" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:17:17 -0500
Subject: TM: Investing in your country (9M - 4).
Good morning and good day to you.
I am looking to work with a reputable individual/firm to engage in investm=
ent ventures in your country and perhaps with your assistance, we could sec=
ure lowered tax rates.
I am Alex Dryano a staff/member of the inner circle of Mr. Mikhail Khodork=
ovsky who was imprisoned in Russia on false charges of fraud and tax evasio=
n by the current Russian President Mr. Vladimir V. Putin.
For more details, please follow this links:
Before the arrest of Mr. Mikhail Khodorovsky, we were in the process to co=
mplete the documents for the payment of US$500 M for a contract carried out=
with Yukos Oil Company, while working on the issuance of the Approval Docu=
ments on the contract payment Mr. Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested which l=
ed to the suspension of the transaction.
Fortunately for us, Mr. Khodorkovsky has being released and is currently r=
euniting with family in Europe.
Now that Mr. Khodorkovsky is released, it is time to complete the US$500 M=
transaction. The initial foreign company name listed as recipient of the U=
S$500 M belongs to Mr. Khodorkovsky and with current event, this company na=
me cannot be used in other not to put the contract payment of US$500 M at r=
I ask for your help so you can stand as the foreign contractor / recipient=
of the said funds, upon recipt of your positive reply we can proceed and r=
e-profile the Approval documents with your details to secure the payment of=
US$500 M to you as recipient.
Upon receipt of your immediate response, we shall discuss the compulsory m=
odalities to see this transaction to successful conclusion. Note that you w=
ill be entitled to 20% share of the total funds as your compensation for yo=
ur assistance. I consequently request your maximum assistance and co-operat=
ion to facilitate the release of the funds to you.
In conclusion, I confirm that this transaction would be carried out under =
a legitimate arrangement without breach of the law. Please keep this transa=
ction to yourself and note that this transaction must be concluded within t=
wo weeks. If you cannot assist then I will suggest that you introduce anyon=
e you consider capable and trustworthy to work with me on this transaction.
If interested, do contact me for further discussions.
Anticipating your reply.