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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Nathan Mboweni" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 01:14:14 +0200
Subject: Contact Me Now!
Chairman Contract Tenders Board
National Electric Regulator
I am delighted to meet your acquaintance, as the chairman of the above board, I crave and solicit your indulgence (personally or corporately) to be a partner in a transaction that would benefit us mutually, through an over-invoiced contract.
As you are aware the 2010 world cup is around the corner, and this board has awarded a huge contract to boost power/energy supply in South Africa ahead of the 2010 FIFA Cup.
If you desire to be a partner, then indicate such by responding to this private proposal to receive further details.
Prince Nathan Mboweni