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:
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "HJSC" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2018 14:14:42 +0000
Subject: *****SPAM***** BUSINESS PROPOSAL FOR INVESTMENT
My Name is Wong, Pui Shan a citizen Of Hong Kong and a Chief Finance officer for Chu Kong Petroleum and Natural Gas Steel Pipe Holdings Limited. Our company manufactures steel pipes for the oil and gas industry. The Company sells these products to enterprises in the oil, petrochemical, and natural gas industry for the use of pipeline transmission. If you are a trustworthy individual with high level of integrity, we could put heads together and see how best we can move 21,5M USD abroad. This is 100% risk free and you will be entitled to 30% of the total funds upon completion. If interested in this partnership, i would be glad to work with you as long as you are honest and committed to this cause. I know it may seem odd but i sincerely apologize for the unconventional manner in which i presented this proposal to you. Having full knowledge of the details of this financial project might put you at ease to deal with me but if you think otherwise, then i can look for someone else who is capable and ready to make a fortune from this great opportunity.
I crave your indulgence to think this through and get back to me immediately.
Ms. Wong, Pui Shan
Chu Kong Petroleum and Natural Gas Steel Pipe Holdings Ltd
Qinghe Road Shiji Town
511450 Panyu District