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:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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: Jackson Hakeem <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:28:51 +0200 (CEST)
I am Jackson Hakeem. I am contacting you because I have an investment proposal that I think may interest you. I represent the interest of my brother in-law who is a minister in the Syrian Government. As you probably know, there is a lot of crisis going on currently in Syria and my brother in-law had fallen out with the ruling Junta and he is currently under house arrest or killed because he has been incommunicado for the past 3 weeks. While I am sure that he has not done anything wrong as he publicly opposes the decision of the Government since the beginning use weapons on our own people, as a result he has planned for trouble ahead and has made arrangement to secure his familyâ€™s future in case the unexpected happens. He has asked me to help him find a reputable foreigner who can help him accommodate and invest a sum of $150,000,000.00 USD (One Hundred And Fifty Million US Dollars) privately. Hence my reason for contacting you.
We need your help to accommodate and lodge the funds in the banking system in your country. We will handle the logistics involved in the movement of the funds to you. Please note that the entire business will be executed in a legal way. My brother in-law has promised to compensate you handsomely for your role in this business. He would also like for you to help invest the funds in a profitable business in your country. He has also instructed me that he wants this to be done discretely and he would want to keep his identification confidential. I will be acting as his eyes and ears during the course of this transaction.
If this proposal interests you, please kindly respond ASAP so we can go through the details together.
Please contact me on my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Awaiting your quick reply.