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)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Monica Owen" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 04:30:09 -0700
Subject: Dear friend,
I am Mr. Quan Han, I work with the largest commercial bank in China. As the fund Manager to Investor's Direct Capital Funds in my bank, I have expertly extracted .05% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP) from each of the Investor's Marginal Capital Fund for the past three years without tempering with the annual marginal profit from the Investors funds.
The extracted cumulative is valued at Ten Million Three Hundred United States Dollars (US$10,300,000.00). And is deposited in an ESCROW Account with my Bank. As a result of my official position, I cannot lay claim to this fund, but I can help influence the release of this fund to any foreigner as the sole owner/Investor. I want you therefore to stand as an investors so that the fund can be release and paid to him/her as investor's Marginal cumulative returns from the joint venture in the past 3yrs.
I want to assure you that this transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of law both in your country and here in China once the fund is transferred to your bank account. I will arrange for my share of 60% to be sent to me, while you take 35% of the total sum amounting to US$3,605,000 (Three Million Six Hundred and Five Thousand United States Dollars) for working with me. While, 5% will be set aside for any expenses we might incur in the cause of this transaction.
In acceptance to my proffer, I will need you to provide the following information urgently to enable the Attorney start the processing of all the relevant legal documents for the fund remittance.
Waiting for your reply soon.
Mr. Quan Han