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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a company representative scam. This type of job offer scam involves the cashing of fake checks and money orders. It could expose you to losses of tens of thousands of dollars as well as to the risk of criminal prosecution and (in some cases) imprisonment.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Marketing" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 03:31:06 +0800
Subject: TEIKOKU OIL AND GAS CO SEARCHING FOR REPRESENTATIVES (Respond Back To Us Via firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Sir/Madam, It is a pleasure to write to you in respect of our company, TEIKOKU OIL & GAS CO., LTD (INPEX CORPORATION). We are experts in the sales of raw materials. We export into the Canada/America/parts of Europe. We are searching for representatives who can help us establish a medium of getting our funds from our customers in the Canada/America as well as making payments through you to us. Please if interested in transacting business in view of helping us, so our clients could make payment to you being a representative to us, we will be very glad And be rest assured that adequate compensations will be given and other benefits follows. Please contact us for more information: TEIKOKU OIL & GAS CO., LTD. 17th Floor, Ebisu Neonato, 4-1-18 Ebisu, Shibuyaku, Tokyo 150-0013, Japan Website: http://www.inpex.co.jp/ E-mail: email@example.com Subject <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.orgSubject> to your satisfaction you will be given the opportunity to get a total of 10% Commission as our Representative and Transfer the Balance to us. N: B if you are an Attorney/Lawyer, Our Client can make payment to you which you can clear easily from your (Trust Account) this is the reason we need Capable Hands like yours. As our representative in the Canada/America. If interested forward your Phone number/Fax and Your full contact address to us. Regards, Mr. Chang Wantan Company Director.