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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Alain Cheick" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 15:47:12 -0800
Subject: Matual understanding.
It's my pleasure to Brief you with this proposal for a financial and business assistance.I know my message will come to you as a surprise.Don't worry I was totally convinced to write you in reference to the transfer of $8.5 Million Dollar to your account for onward investment ( Hotel industries and Estate building management,Factory and Textile Productions And Extruction of Raw Materials To finished Product For Usage) or any profitable Oriented business in your country.
I Need you to stand as my foreign partner for investment in your country and also next of kin to these fund am about to transfer to you if accepted by you to work with me and receive the fund Amounting to $8.5m.Please reply immediately if you are interested,so that I can give you more information. Be Rest Assure that these fund transfer to your custody is risk free and profit oriented to both of us.
To enable me start the process and remittance of the fund into your bank account successfully within 10 banking days, I need the following information from you.
4. Private cell phone:
May Almighty God Bless You!
Mr. Alain Cheick.