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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- 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.
- +447042035673 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ian Brooks" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:54:13 +0600
Subject: From Mr. Ian Brooks
My name is Mr. Ian Brooks, I represent a group of company here in
London. We are seeking means of expanding and relocating our business
interest abroad in the following sectors: Oil/Gas, banking, real
estate, stock speculation and mining,transportation, health sector and
tobacco,Communication Services, Agriculture Forestry & Fishing, thus any
If you have a solid background and idea of making good profit in any of
the mentioned business sectors or any other business in your country,
Please write me for possible business co-operation. More so,we are ready
to facilitate and fund any business that is capable of generating 10%
annual return on investment (AROI) Joint Venture partnership and Hard
loan funding can also be considered.
I am confident that you will give your consideration to this proposal
and respond positively within a short period of time. I am available to
discuss this proposal with you and to answer any questions you may have
in regard to this investment. As soon as you give your positive response
to this proposal, I will not hesitate in sending you the details
information of this great investment partnership opportunity.
I look forward to discussing this opportunity further with you.
Mr. Ian Brooks.