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.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "barrister" (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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Arnold Casavant"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:42:08 +0100
Subject: Project/Business Funding Proposal
My name is barrister Arnold Casavant. I have a business proposition to invest in any good business that will bring good return on investment in your country. My client who is a top government official has a substantial amount of $7,500,000 (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only)for investment and is looking for someone who is trustworthy and reputable to partner with in any good business that will generate good return on investment. I got your contact through my search on web. We intend to invest in spa & fitness, business real estate, and tourist or any good business of your choice.
If you are interested, my client will want to partner with you, leaving the funds under your care to invest in any profitable business for a period of 5years. 30% of the total funds will be given to you as your principal share while you will invest 70% on my clients name in any lucrative business you deem profitable either in your country or overseas.
If you are willing to partner with my client please email the following to me at once via my email email@example.com
1) YOUR INVESTMENT PROPOSAL
2) ANNUAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT
3) DURATION OF INVESTMENT
4) YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS
5) YOUR DIRECT TELEPHONE NUMBER
The moment you declare your intentions and interest, and send me the above requested information, this transaction will commence at once and I shall prepare all the necessary legal agreements copies and paper works needed for this business venture and forward to you for review and endorsement.
To ensure security and safety of the funds because of my client current situation on ground. All arrangements regards to this joint venture partnership is in good place and all protocols observed. This transaction will last for 12 working days at which during the process you will be advised from which bank the investment funds will be transferred to your designated account. I look forward to hearing from you.
Arnold Casavant (Esq.)