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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447031985960 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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)
- the investment is in progress. my contact email is email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org telephones: +44 703 198 5960, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Rufus Young <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:57:39 -0800
Subject: RE: INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT INQUIRY
RE: INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT INQUIRY
My dear friend, greetings. I'm Mr. Rufus Young from UK. I write to inform
you of my interest and desire to invest my funds with you in your country.
I got your contact from your country's online directory and after inquiries
at your high commission here in London, I decided to contact you directly
based on the recommendation that you are a hardworking person. I was also
made aware of your country's investment opportunities, secure economic and
financial policies, dependable investment infrastructures, stable and
buoyant economy and above all, the hospitality of your people. Although we
have not met before, but I trust that you are an experienced, reliable and
trustworthy person with high standard of honesty and integrity. I know that
trust, as a foundation for business, is earned and not given away lightly.
I also know that almost all international transactions are done on mutual
trust, faith and understanding. Kindly note that I am aware that the
internet and electronic mail has been abused by certain persons and this
is indeed regrettable. Let me assure you that my contact with you is for
genuine business relationship that would benefit both of us, and certainly
not just a hoax that exist on internet.
I am seeking means of establishing viable and low risk business in your
country that is capable of generating at least 10% annual return on
investment (ROI) and I want you to assist and guide me and recommend areas
where I can invest profitably since I do not know how business is done in
your country. I want to have you as my partner and manager and it is going
to be a joint business between us after we reach a mutual and honest
understanding. I also want to know if we can invest into your own
establishment if you can guarantee safety of my money and if your bylaw
allows foreign direct investment. My preferences are tourism, agriculture,
real estate properties or any other good business that you can recommend. I
am offering you 3% of the fund as commission if you can honestly and
sincerely guide and cooperate with me to successfully achieve this project
soon. I want to urgently relocate to your country with my family and I
want you to help me in finding a good home preferably (a secluded six
bedroom oceanfront estate) where we will live in. I have some issues with
the authority here and my assets are being threatened therefore I want
absolute confidentiality and professionalism in the management of this
fund.With your cooperation, I am ready, willing and able to invest legally
in long term, the sum of (GBP£5.500,000,.00)Fix million Five hundred
thousand pounds sterling with you immediately into areas that you would
If you believe we can work together, let me know your thinking , your
questions and your condition for this project so that I can provide
relevant details and how we can proceed. Let me also know if it is possible
to get the money back in the next 10 years while the investment is in
progress. My contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com telephones: +44 703 198 5960, +44 703 193 1645.
NB: if you received this letter in your spam folder, please I am sorry,
It might be due to connection error. Please return to your inbox and reply