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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Philip Owusu" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:00:14 -0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP TO SELL MY GOLD
My name is Mr. Philip Owusu. I am a director of field operation Ghana custom excise and preventative service. I am in searching for honest gold dealer or who knows anyone who deal on gold that I can trust to help me receive my 76 kilograms of gold I have here and sell it in his or her country. We shall conduct the business on mutual benefit of both of us. To be frank with you I seized the gold from the illegal exporter at the Kotoka International Airport Accra Ghana when they were about to smuggle it into Airline and ship it out of the country without following the Ghana Government procedure on gold shipment but I have legalize the gold in my name as the owner.
I will be very glad if you can indicate your interest to help me sell the gold in your country. I am very happy when I saw your profile on line. Please all I need from you is a maximum Sincerity, Trust, Honesty and Love. Please before we start this business, I will like you to send me your personal contact details.
I wait for your respond.
Thank you and May God bless you and family.
Mr. Philip Owusu