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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Eng. Spiro Dokolas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 09:24:01 -0500
Subject: Waiting for your reply
It is a pleasure to introduce myself through this medium. However, I have
already sent you this same letter by post one month ago, but I am not sure
that the letter promptly get to you since I have not heard from you, now I
am re sending it again. I am Eng. Spiro Dokolas, I am making this contact
with you to know if you can assist me to invest 25 Million Dollars in your
care to individual or company. Honestly I want to invest this fund in your
care in any good Profitable business venture.
I am from a Christian home, and I will not like to do anything that will
tarnish or destroy the good image of my family name or reputation on where
I represent in the society as the Director of Foreign Investments. So
dont entertain any fear with that I am going to do with you in this
invest project. All conformable legal documents to back up the claims will
be made available by me as your partner to your acceptance in this
investment project.Obviously the source of the fund came from the crude
oil and construction business deal I had with the Iraq oil company five
years ago. I would appreciate your kind reply if you are capable to handle
the investment project in your care.If you are truly sure & capable to
move ahead with me in this investment project, I would like you to Send me
your full details information, so that I will send you more information on
how this investment transaction will be done.
Most importantly, you will be required to:
(1). Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
(2). Receive the funds into a business/private bank account.
(3). At the completion of this transaction, the sharing rates shall be 50%
for me while 50% for you.
Then you will be receiving more 10% of any profit that will be make from
the investment Fund in your country as agreed. I will provide all legal
documentations backing fund,and you are my partner will receive the fund
in your account. Immediately I received your reply, I will update you the
details of the investment project, so that we will move forward urgently
without any delay.
I am looking forward to your reply.
Eng. Spiro Dokolas