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)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Patrick Stucki. " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 03:36:04 -0700
Subject: Private Investor
I understand that through Internet is not the best way to link up with you because of the confidentiality which my proposal demands. Due to Crisis we have in Middle East.
I work as a financial adviser to Ben Ali. Coincidentally, an investor who is associated to the deposed Tunisian President (Ben Ali) approached us seeking our expertise in investing over US$100 million discretely in diverse project.
I have one concerns / dilemma, which is âthe origin of this investor funds is of concern to meâ.
About this investor: He is a 59 years old man. His name is Malheba, his father was the Private financial secretary to Ben Ali (The Ousted Tunisian president). This YouTube link will help you understand more about this investor and his recent past.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DeB3uBXqOs&feature=related
If you would be happy to receive funding from this type of investor, please indicate by return email and we can discuss on the modalities of getting funded through this investor.