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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "huge sum 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "DR. STAN NGOBE" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 12 Dec 2009 17:56:51 +0200
Subject: MZANTSI AFRICA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
MZANTSI AFRICA CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
102 Rose bank close Alberton South. South Africa
Date: 11th December 2009
OUR REF: WSR/RSA/003/09 Your Ref:
THIS IS A NEWLY CREATED CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION HERE IN SOUTH AFRICA,OUR MAIN AIM IS TO TACKLE THE ISSUE OF HUMAN TRAFFICING,CHILD ABUSE AND PROVIDING FOR THE HELPLESS ONES IN THE SOCIETY.THE ORGANIZATION WANTS TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INTRODUCE THEIR CHARITY FOUNDATION , TO ASK FOR ASSISTANCE FROM INDIVIDUALS THAT IS HEARTILY CONCERNED ABOUT CHILDREN,HUMAN TRAFFICING AND ALSO PROVISION FOR THE NEEDLESS.WE HAVE SOME PROJECTS AT HAND LIKE PROVISION OF BASIC NEEDS TO HELPLESS CHILDREN,SETTING UP COMMITTEE THAT WILL BE CHECK MATING HUMAN TRAFFICING IN OUR SOCIETY.FINALLY,WE ARE ALSO MAKING PLANS TO UPDATE OUR CHARITABLE FOUNDATIONS TO BE LIKE OTHER ONES IN OUR COUNTRY.SO ALL THESE THINGS WILL COST US A HUGE SUM OF MONEY.WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD FOR YOUR KIND SUPPORT TO ENABLE US ACHIEVE OUR AIMS.
DR. STAN NGOBE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR(MZANTSI AFRICA CHARITABLE FOUNTION).