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.
- 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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Morgan Zuma" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 12:58:08 +0200
Subject: MORGAN CONSULTANT AGENCY SOUTH AFRICAN LIMITED
MORGAN CONSULTANT AGENCY SOUTH AFRICAN LIMITED
I am a well-established consultant in the south
Africa handling a wide range of trade and investment matters.
Just recently, I was consulted and mandated by a top female
client of mine to source for her:
A country that is politically stable that has an excellent
climate .A top personality by whom investment on a large scale
could be handled.
My client has a very huge amount of money to invest in your
country on viable projects in your care based on recommendation
due to your position. Your main responsibility is to ensure the
total evacuation of the funds from south African where it is secured
the moment. Should you however be in a position to secure these
funds and to handle the investment desire of my client, please
notify me so that I can give the details and also arrange for an
early meeting where we shall discussed among others, investment
areas, evacuation or transfer of the funds and above all the
Expecting your early response.
Dr. Morgan Zuma