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:
- ",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: General Joseph Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 19 May 2011 19:29:10 +0800
Subject: I need your assistant
I am interested in establishing and operating a very viable business as a means of investment in your Country. 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.I believe you know the best location as far as your country is concern.
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 homes and lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of four million euro(4,000,000:00 euro),and I do not know if you can be of help to me.
For a brief of my personality; my name are General Joseph Brown,America citizen,presently in Iraq.I am 42 years of age, married with a wife and two lovely children.I married a British woman.
I was able to secure this amount out from Iraq to a friend who is an international diplomat in United Kingdom.If you are capable of helping me in this issue,by investing this fund in any locative business of your choice that can bring good return(interest)in as far your country is concern,being the fund manager,i assure you 20% per monthly or annually,while 60% will be going into my account per monthly or annually,the balance 20% will be going into company account for maintenance of the firm.
My need for this business proposition and to acquire these properties is very urgent as I am planning to move my family to your country to reside over there. I want you to also help in finding a good home where my family will live inn.
Please I expect your good and prompt reply so that we can proceed swiftly,by telling my international diplomatic friend to convey the fund to you.
I will need your phone and fax numbers for easier communication with you with help of my international diplomat.
General Joseph Brown.