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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Barrister Uzoma" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:33:52 -0700
Reference to my discussions with your country's chambers and commerce and also with the Britain chambers and investors here in United Kingdom, I am looking for an assistance, I am Barr. Uzoma, I work with Oxus Gold firm (www.oxusgold.co.uk) here in United Kingdom.
My client, who is an Ecuadorian, S.A based Industrialist,is currently looking for an avenue to make a discrete investment of One hundred and fifty Million United States Dollars (US$150M) before making systematic liquidation of his company,he is now available to meet with you and your company to finalize all the arrangement regards to the deposit of his $150 Million.
His company is currently running on over a billion dollar deficit and this has prompted his need to put some funds aside before submitting paper works for bankruptcy and liquidation.He is willing to invest the fund in exchange for 7.5% yearly interest for a maximum duration of 5 to 10 years without collateral.
However,he will require a corporate equity or original documentation of the proposed investment to safeguard his fund in case of default. If interested, kindly write for terms and possible meeting with your company here in United Kingdom.
I look forward to doing business with your company.