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 us 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: "George Lewis" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:36:12 -0500
Subject: Investment Proposal.
My name is Mr George Lewis. I an looking for an experienced and trustworthy business
person/company that can profitably invest funds in excess of USD $45 .2 Million US Dollars in any profitable ventures.
Most importantly, you will be required to:
1. Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
2. Receive the funds into a business/Private or Trust
3. Invest/Manage the funds on my behalf.
It is important for you to also provide answers to the
questions below in your response.
1 If you are required to travel for a meeting and to
fulfill certain obligations, can you travel within a short notice?
2.Will your final recipient or trust account be able to
receive these funds?
The above information will enable me determine if you are qualified for receivership and subsequent investment of the funds.
My offer to you is 10% of the total money after transfer and 50-50% share for both parties on any investment proceeds.
Your early response will be appreciated.