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:
- "% commission" (Beware of any scheme that involves depositing checks or money orders or receiving wire transfers in your bank account and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere, for a percentage of 5-15% of the total. Such offers are *always* fraudulent and you will be liable for the entire amount when the checks, money orders or wire transfers turn out to be fraudulent. Any money already forwarded comes out of *your* pocket then. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Jun 2019 08:09:06 -0300
Subject: RE BUSINESS COOPERATION
I am delighted to write you this day for important business transaction,
I am a consultant and government accredited commission Agent and at
present I have a board responsible for government tender here in Istanbul
Turkey and I work closely with the chairman of the Contract Award and
implementing Committee (CAIC) set up by the Government for the award of
various contract and he would like to use your product for a large scale
business as the Government under his custody has released over USD $50
Million for importation of various products for Government use.
The contact I have would like to award you the contract to supply any
product you can offer to the Government use worth over USD$50 Million
within one year but you must include 5% commission for me and the top
government official that will help me to secure and approve the contract
for you and you will send to us back the 5% after you have receive the 100%
payment from the committee.
You will receive full contract payment as soon as the contract is approved
and signed and after that you will start the supply according to the
agreement so you can see that the deal is protected from both side and all
this could happen within one week and please you must reply only to this my
private email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
So if you have any product you can supply and you can handle this project
you should send the following information to my private email address::
Mobile phone number:
Nature of Business:
Company Name (if any):
How long you have been in business:
Your Working Capital: $
Name the products you deal on or you can supply:
>From what country do you source the products:
Can you supply on CIF or FOB basis
I wait for your reply and please reply only to my private email address
only : email@example.com