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:
- "% 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.
Fraud email example:
From: ISA MOHAMEED <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2021 05:13:42 -0700
Subject: Good day, Your Product is Needed for Urgent Supply!
We got your company information through an exhaustive search in the
internet.We are authorized government/Business agent based in
Ghana,Representing Ecowas. Our scope is basically searching for
companies to bid for government contract on commission basis. We
receive 2% commission from the seller/ manufacturer in any successful
contract done through our recommendation.We will like to make a
preliminary presentation/introduction of your company to the ministry
for their consideration.
Could you please be kind enough to furnish us with the following
information to enable us present/introduce your highly esteemed
company to the appropriate Ministry.
1) Your e-brochure/catalogue.
2) The Technical details of your product
3) Your company profile
We shall deploy all resources in our disposal to ensure successful
bidding for your company.
You may include any information or document that you deem necessary.
We are looking forward to working with you.
Agent ISA MOHAMEED