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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Baruti Zelli" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 03:28:46 +0200
Subject: Mr.B. Zelli
I hope this letter finds you well.While this email will definitely be coming to you as a surprise,
please take a moment of your time to read this. It is very important. I am Baruti Zelli,
the personal assistance to to the late Minister of Communications Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri here in my country.
However I got your address through the International web directory online. During the official duty of the late Minister of Communications
Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri (from 1999 until her death 6 April 2009) she maid an over invoiced payment to our foreign expatriates
with a huge amount of money valued at US$ 18,500,000.00 (Eighteen million, five hundred thousand, United State dollars Only).
Ever since then the Fedral Government never knew the former late Minister of Communications Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri made an
over invoice for the payment of our foreign expatriates before her death, Before her death she was able to move the fund US$ 18,500,000.00
(Eighteen million, five hundred thousand, United State dollars Only) via a diplomatic means to Europe and safe deposited it in a treasury security company,
the treasury security company never new the real contain of the luggage is money, She safe deposited it as a high family tresure (pices of Golds and Diamonds).
Due to my country rules/regulations, We the Govermental bodies (President, Governors, States representives, House Speakers, and we the Ministers) are not allowed to own any investment oversea.
This deal was just between late Minister of Communications Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri and I the personal assistance, but unfortunatly death ran over her.
As she is know more I intend to carry on with the deal, I have with me all the neccessary documents regarding to the claim of the luggage with the security in Europe.
So it is only a foreigner that can stand and help me to claim and invest this fund as my next of kin and it is upon this discovery that I decided to contact you to collaborate with you to stand and claim the fund as my next of kin and invest it.
For Further information and confidentiality please contact me on my personal email address ( email@example.com ) with your following data: Full names, Address, Telephone number and Fax number.
I look forward to hearing from you.