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:
- "i am using this medium to " (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: (sent from abused email account)
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:30:06 -0400
Subject: TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
My name is Robert Philips from CL Financial Limited resident in the Republic of Ghana. I am using this medium to seek for your collaboration should this offer interests you.
My client is a Politician and a highly placed Government Official in the Government of Republic of Ghana. I have his mandated to source for someone outside African Continent with wealth of experience in Trading, Investments and Financial Management that can judiciously invest the sum of US$500 million on his behalf with excellent Return on Investment. If this offer falls within your areas of specialization, you are hereby advised to respond with your Telephone Number and your Personal Profile for further details.
Mr. Robert Philips