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:
- "million united states 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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Micheal Jenson
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 12:02:54 -0600
Subject: INVESTMENT PLAN
Attn: Intended Partner
We are Faizah Awad Law Firm, handling a wide range of trade and investment matters.
We are presently confronted with a request to invest funds in your country; the funds legitimately belong to my client from Libya.
Against this background we are seeking your indulgence to respond to us indicating if you are capable and wiling to partner with us in the investment of USD$143,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Three Million United States Dollars Only), in a covert expedient and confidential manner. You are assured of the utmost standards of confidentiality, and press anonymity and beyond where they so desire. Be further advised to maintain the strictest level of confidentiality also. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid any problem because of status.
Your swift response will be appreciated
Reply to my private email : email@example.com
Micheal Jenson. ESQ