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.
- 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: "Mr Silver Obiang" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 22:13:31 +0100
Subject: Greetings from Malabo
Dear Sir/ Madam, ,
I am Mr Silver Obiang, a serving civil servant from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, currently on a six week official visit in Pretoria South Africa. I am contacting you because I am seeking for a real business professional with whom I can be involved in partnership overseas, who also have the ability to manage an investment portfolio in your country, preferably in Real estate or Housing Development. The proposed investment profile will be large in volume and scale, but because of the restrictive employment regulations in my country, I cannot do this while under state employment.
My primary preference is for someone from your country, hence this proposal to you. I like to know if you are disposed to that kind of engagement, so that we may open further conversation along that line and explore what is possible. The civil service and employment regulations in my country prohibit me from getting involved in private overseas business, while under government or corporate employment, hence this proposal to you.
If you indicate interest, I can proceed to opening up a vast conversation with you, so you can have a better knowledge of the proposal.
I look forward to your response if this appeals to you. Please reply here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr S. Obiang