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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "receive a 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "ECO ENERGY DUBREUIL" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 04:52:32 -0700
Subject: Invest in your project and pay 3% per year
Dear Mr. / Dear Mrs.
I am a professional banker and I am in contact with private investors who want to invest in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or anywhere else in the world. I currently have investors who want to invest from 100,000 Euros to 70 million Euros, but we want to work with serious partners. If you have very interesting projects in which we can invest the funds and get an annual return of 3% per year.
If you have a project in which you can invest, you will receive a commission of 30% to prepare your project and you will invest the balance 70% for the project. If you invest this 70% in your project, you will pay an annual return of 3% per year and during the 20-year partnership.
Please contact us if you have projects in which we can invest the money and we will discuss the terms of a joint partnership. I will let you know that the contract is in place and as soon as you reply we will send you the contract.
Information: Please send me your reply only to this e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org