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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- 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: ''George Allen''<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 05 Dec 2015 00:00:48 +0100
Subject: PARTNERSHIP INVESTMENT
I have sent this project partnership request to you before without any response, I do not know if you received it? I intended sending you a fax but could not, well I am writing you again via internet due to urgency. However we want to partner with you in a related investment management project. For evaluation kindly read below for more understanding Project-Description for better understanding.
One of our clients has mandated us via a limited power of attorney to initiate and negotiate for any viable external investment partner, he is ready to invest and the funds are available. I write to seek your participation and if you are interested, Kindly send your details you can also suggest possible scope of investment that may interest my client.
In the past we have been betrayed and we lost millions of dollars to an American business woman who on receipt of our investment funds ran-away and changed all her contacts. I am writing you with hope that you will not betray us, your honest commitment is highly needed so that we can make progress together. We look forward to establish a symbiotic relationship, waiting your reply soonest.
Address: 260-262 High Road, Tottenham, London N15 4AJ.