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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "SAAD FAMILY"<email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:28:16 +0200
Subject: INVITATION FROM SAAD FAMILY
You may be surprise to receive this mail since you don't know me personally, but with due respect, trust and humility, I write to you this proposal. I am Mr.Ahmed Tam Saad the son of Mr.Gambo Saad of Darfur Sudan. It is indeed my pleasure to contact you for assistance of a business venture which I intend to establish in your country only if you will be interested.
I got your contact while I was doing a private research on the Internet for a reliable foreign partner that will assist me and my family to transfer sum funds to your personal or company's account for investment purpose.
Considering the political instabilities in my country, I believe one has to risk confiding in success sometimes in life.
There is this huge amount of funds (US6.7 Million.) SIX MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE DOLLARS) which my late Father deposited in a private security company awaiting claim before he was assassinated by unknown persons in my country Darfur Sudan.
Now I have decided to invest the funds in your country or anywhere safe for security reasons. I have mutually agreed to compensate you with 25% of the total amount if you agree to assist me,70% for me and my family,5% for any expenses that might be incurred during that cause of the transfer. You can contact me through this Email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I will give you further details as soon as you show interest,also I have so many business opportunities to share with you as soon as this very one work out.
I wait for your kind consideration to my proposal.
Mr. Ahmed Tam saad