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:
- "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: "Mr. Louis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 23:53:07 +0100
Subject: INVESTMENT PROPOSAL!!
I will first introduce myself as Mr. Louis Castello, a financial consultant
with Smith & Williamson, a Leading independent provider of investment
management, accountancy, tax, corporate and financial advisory services to
private clients, corporate, professional practices, and non-profit
I represent a group of investment group (BGL Investment Partners) that wish to
expand their interest into telecommunications, healthcare development centers,
biotech as well as the media industry. BGL Investment Partners has in the past
invested in more than eight countries around the world in the area of
healthcare service delivery, telecom industry as well as in the acquisition of
majority shares in some blue chip companies. It is on this note that I was
consulted to source on their behalf a reliable, honest and trusted individual
or organization to entrust some funds for the purpose of investment
into any of
the above fields. You will receive 20% as your management fee upon the
successful transfer and investment of this fund. So my question to you now is
1. Can you receive this fund and invest for my clients?
2. Can you supervise or advice on investing into any of the above projects in
3. Can you handle this multi-million dollar project?
If your answers to the above are YES, then you should get back to me so that
the sum of $200,000.000.000 [Two Hundred Million USD$] can be
channeled to your
custody under strict contract agreement which will bind both parties in the
execution of this project. So, if you can help my client?s receive and invest
this sum, kindly reply me with your acceptance letter so that I can give you
more information on how we can proceed. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mr. Louis Castello.