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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Rosemary Reed <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2020 02:33:18 +0100
Subject: PROJECT FUNDING
Attn Dear Friend,
With due respect, I observe every protocols and pay all due compliments.I
am interested in establishing and operating a very viable business as a
means of investment abroad. I do not know too well on how this is done in
your country, so I will need you to help me in this regard. My prefer is
any good profit yielding business and I would appreciate any viable ideas
you could come up with. I will also need you to help me look for properties
like Homes and Lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of Twenty
Million United States Dollars ($20,000,000.00 USD) for this. I do not know
if you can handle this and will be of help to me.
For a brief on my personality; my name is Mrs Rosemary Reed,i am 64 years
of age,wife of Late Mr Richard Reed,from Scotland based in Turkey who is a
retired Business man died 8 years ago, formally he is into Solar and
Recycling Energy,Crude Oil and Gold.. Married with 4 lovely kids.I dropped
my late husbands Shipping business because it wasn't producing profitable
income. I have had so much problems with the TURKISH Authority just because
I am foreigner and my husband is know more. coupled with the corruption
rate and recent terrorist activity in the country.Hence my need for this
business preposition and to acquire these properties is very urgent as I am
planning to move out of this country with my family down to your country. I
want you to also help in finding a good home where my family and I will
live in. (Mini Estate)Please I expect your good and prompt reply so that we
can proceed swiftly.
I will need your phone and fax numbers for easier communication with you.
Please if you are not interested kindly delete the message.
Waiting your swift response,
Mrs Rosemary Reed