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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
- +27865385504 (South Africa, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Greg" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 06:44:54 -0000
Subject: Reply soon
VERY URGENT AND STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
I have a profiling amount in an excess of US$183.5M, which I seek your assistants to claim.
INTRODUCTION OF MY SELF:
My name is Mr. Greg C Dobrine a South African and a personal secretary to Late Roger Brett Kebble of South Africa and Chairman CEO of the following companies: Landgold and Exploration: http://www.randgold.co.za , JCI Limited: http://www.jci.co.za and many other interest both in America, Asia and African Continents.
SOURCE OF FUNDS:
The above funds in question was since deposited in the year 2005 on my name with a security company in West Africa to be used in payment of an American oil merchant for his last deal with my boss Mr. Brett Kebble. The fund was secretly moved to West Africa and was deposited in a Security Company with my name, while the final crediting is expected to be carried out into the oil merchant's bank account by the security company. Unfortunately while on the process, My Boss got assassinated September 27th 2005 in his car while driving on his way to a function in Melrose district of Johannesburg South Africa. You can read more about all this on below website:
The security company recently wrote me a notification latter in respect of transferring the fund, and I need to urgently introduce you to the security company as the partner to my late boss to enable you claims this fund for our mutual benefit. The money will be sheared in the ratio of 50/50% between me and you. I have decided to do this deal with you to help myself and also use the sum relocate to American continent and never to be connected with any of Brett Kebble conglomerates.
I will need to present you as the beneficially in the documents I am meant to return to the security company where the fund was deposited in West Africa to enable them transfer the fund to your nominated bank. Please reply to email@example.com confirming your interest, also favour me with your full contact coordinates information (Phone/fax etc, plus address) to enable me contact you.
Reply and treat as highly confidential matter at all times and not to be disclosed to anybody. As soon as you indicate your willingness, I will send you all the details.
MR G C Dobrine
Tel / Fax: +27 865 385 504