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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. James Malcolm" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:05:23 +0200
Subject: BENEFICIARY OF FUNDS!!
This is a personalized message directed to you, I am Mr. James Malcolm of Global Royal Investment Co. (GRI)
www.globalroyalinvestment.in.net, by the Grace of God I am the CEO/Managing partner of the investment organization,
please peruse through our website to see what we do and what we have done in the past with Investors' funds.
We have recently been asked to invest funds outside Saudi Arabia our Investor and have decided to seek partnership
outside Saudi Arabia to cooperate with us in investing the available funds from Saudi Arabia in your country within your
We are brokering an investment venture on behalf of a single client.
The task is to invest the sum of Ninety Five Million United States Dollars, USD$95,000,000 into areas such as Properties
and Stock markets, construction as well as Private Equity Ventures of choice.
We wish to enter into partnership with you and to allow you invest the funds in your country via your directions and
guidelines. There would be remunerations and benefits for you if you choose to partake in this investment venture and
this will be discussed later.
We cannot confirm that your email is still functioning, therefore this proposition will be brief at this time until we
received your favorable response with the following information:
If you are interested in working with us we can discuss your share further. You may contact us directly on the number
given below, but more conveniently by email which is also given.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Mr. James Malcolm/Ceo
Global Royal Investme