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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Tarkan Yurdaay
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 06:38:47 -0700
Subject: BUSINESS INTEREST.
It is my pleasure to communicate with you via this platform. Your positive regards towards this very message will be appreciated, please do not regard this email as one of the common unsolicited email or false business invitations in the world today. I am opportune to use this medium to exhibit my legal intentions towards investing in your country of residence. I am fully convinced that you will really be of help as a new friend and business partner. I hope my message to you will be given proper attention despite the fact we have not seen or even met each other before. knowing fully well it takes a minute, an hour or even a day to know somebody and also establish an everlasting relationship with truth and honesty between you and I.
I am planning to go into investment in your country of origin/country of Location to assist me establish, conduct and manage the investment project, since I will not be present in day-to-day running of the business, due to my active function here. I will appreciate it if you can converge a good relationship for trust to have an everlasting business relationship without cheating, lying or sabotaging the business project. My lawyer will prepare a good memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the success of this project in-line with the law of your country of origin. I can assure you the success of the business transaction if you can keep it top secret. Humbly indicate your full name, Contact address and contact number while replying to my proposal.
Your positive response will be highly appreciated.
Thank you for your understanding.