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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Steven Bowel" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2016 05:26:02 -0800
Subject: MALAYSIA PETROLEUM INVESTMENT!!
I am Mr. Steven Bowel Head of Operations at Finance and Account Department of Malaysia Petroleum.
I have an Investment opportunity of USD10.7M,for Investment in your Country. I need your assistance and co-operation to move it into your country as a Contract Payment with the MP for onward investment in your country.
Tell me if you can handle this, if you can't, don't let this to be known by any other person. Its between you and I.
Mr. Steven Bowel
Finance and Account Department