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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Douglas Flint" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2017 21:13:22 +0300
Subject: Investment Proposal
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 preference 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 house and lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of Ten Million Great British Pounds ($10,000,000 GBP) for this. I do not know if you can and will be of help to me.
For a brief on my personality;
My need for this business proposition and to acquire these properties is very urgent as I am planning to retire from my position as the chairman of HSBC bank.
As business inclined man, I want you to come up with your individual business/ investment ideas as I will welcome it from the bottom of my heart.
Please I expect your good and prompt reply so that we can proceed swiftly on how the fund can be sent to you.
Douglas J Flint