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:
- "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)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Walter Ntuli" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2013 20:09:30 +0800
Subject: Proposal for you
I have a proposal for you - this is not mandatory nor will I compel you to honor it against your
will....I am Mr. David Walter Ntuli; I work with the bills/exchange at the foreign remittance department of a
leading bank. Which we want to keep under your supervision. I do request your consent to be fronted as heirs to my
late client money The Funds totaling is Thirty Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars. whom you both
share the same last name I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this funds cannot be approved to a local
Bank here, because the funds is US Dollars. One of our foreign customers who died along with his entire family.
The mode of sharing after a successful transfer shall be 60% for us and 40% for you, if you are interested give me
your full names and direct telephone number so that I can contact you with more details.
Your response to indicate your Willingness in assisting us.
PLEASE REPLY DIRECTLY TO MY E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com AND I WILL SEND YOU DETAILED INFO
Thank you and God Bless,
My sincere Regards
Mr. Walter Ntuli