419 Scam – Real estate agent scam
In this variant of the "419" Advance Fee fraud the scammer claims to be a wealthy foreigner who wants to buy property to relocate himself or his family to the United States. Most likely this scam is a variant of the check overpayment scam, where the scammer sends an oversized check, which the victim is to cash and partially forward to a person nominated by the scammer (for example, a "travel agent").
Here are examples:
"Dr.Richard Hong" (email@example.com)
A few red flags in this scam email received in Canada:
- Typical Nigerian English
- Sent from a Yahoo Germany account even though there is no apparent connection to Germany
- Lists a +44 70 UK special service number,
which redirects calls to an international number such as a Nigerian mobile phone
- The scammer identified himself as ""Dr Richard Hong, Managing Director, Cheapfabrics.co.uk". The website Cheapfabrics.co.uk (which apears to be legitimate) is often listed as a cover for Nigerian fake check scams (company representative scam format).
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: July 1, 2007 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: Large condo in well kept strata & great Fraser River view!
I came across your addresses on the realtor site, am in need of a house for Sale, a 2 bedrooms for my family and I, and that is why I am trying to use this medium to let you know that we are interested if there is any property that fits that description for Sale. I have see your price and have agree with the price ,just get back to me and if I feel the price is reasonable then will have a deal and start transactions immediately thanks for your anticipated cooperation............
"Pastor. Mike Jones" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This scam was received by a real estate agent in May 2007 and uses an identical phrase to the email by the Canadian real estate agent.
Am Pastor Mike Jones the founder of holy temple church of God in UK,
i will be coming to malaysia this year to establish a church,
I came across your addreses on the realtor site, am in need of a house for sale in kuala lumpur,a 3 bedroom apartment for my family and i, and that is why i am trying to use this meduim to let you know that we are interested if there is any property that fits that discription for sale. ,just get back to me and if i feel the price is reasonable then will have a deal and start transactions immediately thanks for your anticipated cooperation............ pls do contact me with my alternative emails Address,
TEL: +447031838063((Direct line)
Pastor. Mike Jones.
david mark (email@example.com)
HOME PURCHASE AND RELOCATION
PLEASE I REQUIRE ASSTSTANCE IN ACQUIRING A CHOICE PROPERTY IN YOUR COUNTRY FOR IMMEDIATE PURCHASE AND RELOCATION OF MY FAMILY URGENTLY.
IF YOU HAVE READILY AVALIABLE LISTINGS,PLEASE GET BACK TO ME WITH MORE INFORMATIONS THAT WILL ASSIST ME IN MAKING A GOOD CHOICE .YOU CAN REACH ME
BY E-MAIL OR PHONE.234-80-85842946
YOUR URGENT REVERSAL IS AWAITED.
SENATOR DAVID MARK
APO VILLAGE SENATORS QUATERS
GARIKI ABUJA NIGERIA
Received: from [126.96.36.199] by web28014.mail.ukl.yahoo.com
via HTTP; Sat, 03 Mar 2007 13:04:54 GMT
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 13:04:54 +0000 (GMT)
From: david mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: HOME PURCHASE AND RELOCATION
Dear Firstname Lastname ,
compliments of the day.Thanks for your response to my mail..i beg you to please treat my request with utmost despatch and professionalism so that i can conclude the purchase as soon as possible to enable me guarantee the safety of my family and these are my requirements. I have funds in excess to conclude the purchase what i want is the very best for my family in the region of between $500,000-1M USD .But first and foremost you have to locate the type of house i require.
I am making arrangements for my wife and my 5 children to come over as soon as possible, this is to enable my wife to inspect the property and sign all the necessary documents in regards to the home purchase.
What I need is a large single family home, with five rooms self contained, a big kitchen, a car garage that can contain up to 3 cars, a flower garden and also a swimming pool in a very secure neighbourhood or a very expansive family home. I will be happy if you can put the pictures together and send it to me .
The life of my family is no longer safe down hear in Nigeria , my political opponents and enemies want to assassinate me and my family, they have several time tried to assassinate us , but the almighty God has always been with us. You know when you are into politics you bound to have a lot of enemies.
Please I want you to assure me that you will assist me and my family relocate to your country safely, also I want you to keep this plan of mine very confidential let it just be between you and me please, this is due to my present situation in Nigeria .
Please I await your reversal.
Thanks and God bless
Received: from [188.8.131.52] by web28001.mail.ukl.yahoo.com
via HTTP; Fri, 16 Mar 2007 20:02:50 GMT
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 20:02:50 +0000 (GMT)
From: david mark <email@example.com>
Subject: HOME REQUIREMENTS
There is a real Nigerian senator by that name, but I doubt that is the
person who sent this. They are probably just abusing his name to lend
credibility to the scam.
The supplied phone number is a mobile. The street address in the first email
is spelled wrong
(MACULAY CLOSE vs. Macaulay Close), as is the sender's supposed surname in the email
address: David Mark vs. firstname.lastname@example.org (very few people ever
misspell their own surname). The same day that email address
email@example.com was created, firstname.lastname@example.org was also created.
That's typical for mass spamming accounts and untypical for how most people
create email accounts.
Notice also how different in appearance the first and second emails are. The
first one is written in all capitals, while the second one uses proper
capitalisation. This suggests they were not actually written by the same
person. The first one is sent to large numbers of real estate agents to get
responses. The second one is more detailed and is probably sent by someone
more senior in the scam gang.
The sending IP address of the emails is in Lagos and it has been the source
of hundreds of scams that are in our database. The real senator is based in
the capital city of Abuja, *not* in Lagos (which is like Washington DC vs.
Here is the real politician: