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 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 (Outblaze.com, Hong Kong; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Jarrod Colin Phipps" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 22:55:58 -0800
Subject: WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU OUT.
We are privately looking for investment opportunities in your country as means of expanding our investment portfolios internationally and would like to partner with you. Our core objective is to mainly provide adequate investment project portfolios globally in various key investment sectors primarily stated below: Construction, Real Estate, Mining, Transportation, Agriculture, Education, Business Acquisition, Business Expansion, Contract Execution, Medical, Oil & Gas sectors, Research, Energy production and many more viable projects.
As part of our expansion plans, we are ready to fund any project capable of generating at least 8% Annual Return on Investment (ROI), Joint Venture agreement, Project Start-up Funding, Corporate Loan, Debt Financing etc. can also be considered depending on the nature of your business plan. The funding/investments are normally 100% of the capital required for any given project. Feel free to submit your business plan for approval and funding. We shall sign NDA agreement for our protections and close within 10 working days.
Jarrod Colin Phipps
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