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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.J. Zawai" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 13:27:45 +0100
Subject: HELLO, Your Response Is Needed Urgently..
I am looking for your cooperation in areas related to Construction, Real Estate,and Agriculture Manufacturing business or building a Tourist Hotel/shopping Mall in your country, I am sorry if this is not in line with your business.
I need an experienced person to assist me to set up develop the project and assume responsibility of ownership as chairman but will be bringing in profit /distribute profit monthly or annually.
I am DR.J.Zawai, a citizen of Libyan, former Personal investment adviser to late Moammar Gadhafi We acquired this money legally as a result of oil export, I am currently in possession of ($46M) Forty Six Million United State Dollars Only with the documents very intact with me which I want to use for investment purposes preferably in your country.
I left Libya for london that is why I need someone who is trustworthy and honest, to assist me achieve my objectives, and also manage the business for me.
However, I got your email information Through My private search in my effort to get hold of reputable investor for joint partnership that is why I am making this exclusively with you, your immediate reply will be highly appreciated and I shall give you more information on this project, and your percentage and all what is expected of you.
Your urgent response is highly welcomed.
Thanks and God bless.
I Remain Yours,