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: Rhoda Tahir<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2017 09:49:04 -0400
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
My name is Rhoda Tahir Kenyan nationality but presently in Ghana. I am looking for some one who can help me invest huge some of money outside Africa in a lucrative business that will yield good interest,
My father was killed last year in the Kenya mall bombing and as the next of kin i have all the documents covering all his investment both in Kenyan and outside Kenyan, before he died i went to Ghana with him where he made a deposit of two boxes containing 25.5million dollars kept in a safe deposit house which i have all the documents with me and it is only known to me and my mother.
Now my mother has asked me to look for some one trustworthy to assist us to invest the money, and now my fathers family have seized every other properties from us but left with this funds only because they do not have any knowledge of it.
Me and my mother will give 10% to any one who can help us invest the funds and put the rest into investment we can share interest yearly and also help me and my mother to come over to your country and live there and continue our live.Please keep this as a privacy for us to avoid my fathers family from knowing about it.
Kindly let me know if you are ready to help us .