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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Reem E. Al-Hashimi" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 May 2020 14:54:13 -0700
I work as an agent to some Investors. Do you need a business loan or
funds for a business idea or want to expand but need huge funding? We
are expanding our investment presence by granting debt loan to fund
viable and lucrative projects. If you have any project that needs
funding, kindly revert to me with your business plan and if we find
your business to be worthy of investment, you will be promptly
contacted and both parties will meet face to face and have a
round-table meeting together.
Good documentation will be carried out between you and the Investor
before putting down his funds.
Reem E. Al-Hashimi