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:
- "hundred thousand 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: JAMES MARTIN <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 05:28:09 -0700
Good day. I am James Martin, a wealth manager with Cadiz Asset Management based in South Africa. One of the clients in my portfolio is interested in investing in your country and he has asked me to help him seek private business owners and investors who may be interested in this proposition. The investment portfolio is to the tune of $73.8 Million USD (Seventy Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand US Dollars).
I am contacting you to find out if you would be interested in this proposal. Due to my clients political position in his country, he wants this done as discreetly as possible. We will handle all the logistics for the movement of the funds to you.
Kindly contact me if you think you can handle this and if your company has any existing of pending projects that needs funding.
I have decided to keep this very short for now and will give you more information and all the relevant details when I receive a positive response from you.