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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Ali Tarhouni" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2016 16:07:19 +0100
Subject: Inquiry For Investment In Your Country
Inquiry For Investment In Your Country
My name is Dr. Ali Tarhouni, from Tripoli Libya, I am former Minister for Oil and Finance on the National Transitional Council, but presently I'm here in Burkina Faso (West Africa). Due to the crises that is going on in my country.
Please I'm consulting you for my personal investment plan which I would like to discuss with you and know the possibility of how we can co-operate and work together to carry it out as business partner; which I believe it will be beneficial to both parties if handled with honesty.
If you have idea of any business in your country where we can invest the sum of USD$8.5 Million, kindly reply me urgently and we will discuss on how to achieve this effectively.
However, due to the crises in my country Libya, I find it necessary to diversify my investments outside my country to safe guard against the future of my family. For your kind assistant, I'm willing to offer you the 20% of the total amount for your assistance, while the balance shall be my capital investment in your country when we come over.
Pls reply through my private email:(firstname.lastname@example.org )
I am expecting to read from you soon,
Dr. Ali Tarhouni.