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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Sim Ton" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2019 18:36:36 -0700
Subject: Looking forward to your prompt reply.
I am aware that this letter may come to you as a surprise, of course, I do not mean to use this to encroach into your privacy, I really apologize for that.
My name is Mr Sim Ton, Investment Manager at PPCBank (Phnom Penh Commercial Bank ) Phnom Penh Cambodia. I am Contacting you to discuss an immense business operation that will be of good benefit to both of us if successfully and intelligently handled.
The business is all about putting claims of an Excess Interest Return Profit from our bank s external investment program. This Excess Interest Return Profit involves a total Value of US$5.7Million. This Operation requires the participation of any foreign citizens, thus I am contacting you to seek your interest.
Be aware every Legal and official papers to back-up the business will be up to date, while I will guide you on our proceeding as a staff of this bank.
Note Due to high rate by-which news and information flies, as a confidential operation I wont be able to disclose the full details of this great opportunity through this first message until I confirm your interest and willingness to work with me.
I will be pleased to read your quick reply message, while I will send you the details, my particulars and source of this funds in questions.
Thanks and looking forward to your prompt reply.
Mr Sim Ton