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:
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: James Fiore <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2016 09:54:19 -0700
Subject: Business Proposal - Reply Asap
Attn 0%0, I got your contact address from your reliable chamber of commerce=
, My name is Mr.James Fiore the financial Officer of a Mining company in Au=
stralia and also a member Board of Directors, Contract Awarding Committee t=
hat awards contracts to both foreign and local contractors in the giant Inv=
estment firm in Australia. I understand it is a little bit awkward contacti=
ng you through this means, But this is basically business, I want to invest=
together to secure a floating sum in the tune of ($100M) in my company. Th=
is deal is 100% risk free and all i need from you is trust. Also your count=
ry a is considered open for economic activities and the return of investmen=
ts are high. Kindly reply back if you wish to partner with me and I will of=
fer you 40% of our investments. Send your direct mobile and address. Expect=
ing your reply soonest. Best Regards, James Fiore