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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.T Wilcox"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 18:42:34 -0000
Subject: Expression of Interest (EOI)
Dear Prospective Partner,
You may be surprise to receive this mail since you dont know me personally, but with due Respect, trust and humility, I write to you this proposal. I am Mr. Thomason Wilcox, the elder son of late Hamas Wilcox, (Businessman) of Darfur Sudan. It is indeed my pleasure to contact you for partnership of a business venture which I intend to establish in your country.
I got your contact while researching on the Internet for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist my family to transfer fund to his/her personal or private account for investment purpose. Though I have not met with you before, but considering the recent political instabilities in my country, I believe one has to risk confiding even with a stranger sometimes in life.
I have all vital documents to the huge amount of money "Fifty Million US Dollars" which my late Father deposited with a Security firm abroad for investment purposes before he was assassinated by unknown persons during the recent war in Darfur Sudan.
My family has decided to invest this money in your country or anywhere safe for security and political reasons. I want you to help me retrieve this money for onward transfer to any designated bank account of your choice for investment purposes such as Transport Industry, Mechanized Agriculture or Real Estate.
We have to negotiate on what will be offered to you for assisting the family to handle this project while 20% will be allocated to you annually from the profit of the partnership company we are to establish with you. Please, read more on Darfur: www.savedarfur.org
All I require is your honesty, sincerity and kind co-operation. I will give you further details as soon as you indicate interest to helping the family.
I wait for your kind consideration to my proposal.
Mr. Thomason Wilcox 9/2