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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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. )
- "million 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)
- "is 100% risk-free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mpoyo Jennifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 15:13:11 +0000
Subject: Please call me mobile: +27-73-229-1403
TEL:27 7322 91 403
I am the wife of Late Mr. Daniel Mpoyo a farmer from Zimbabwe. I got
your address from South African Information Exchange in Johannesburg. During the
current war against the farmers in Zimbabwe from the supports of our President
Robert Mugabe to claim all the white-owned farms to his party members and his
followers, he ordered all the white-owned farmers to surrender all their farm
lands to his party members and his followers.
My husband was one of the best farmers in our country and also in
partnership with white farmers.
HE did not support the Idea of our President against the white
farmers,supporters of President Mugabe invaded my husband's farm and burnt
everything in the Farm Lands, killing my husband and made away with a lot of
items in our Farm Lands.After the death of my husband,my son and his family
decided to move out from Zimbabwe but i am still in our country due to my health
situation thou my life is in danger,
I strongly believe God to be with me and my family and to safe money my
husband kept in my care for our future investment overseas. The amount is US$
9.Million(Nine Million United States Dollars)and my son decided to move to the
Republic of South Africa with his family where he deposited the money in a
Security Company as valuables. So, we decided to contact overseas Firm that will
assist us move this money out of South Africa.because we are asylum seekers here
in South Africa.We have agreed to give you from the total sum 25% for helping us
to move this money to your country AND Account while the balance will be for my
family investment in your country.
Kindly furnish me with all your
banking details and your personal phone and fax numbers for easy communication.
You can contact my son Mr.Fredrick Mpoyo on the above telephone numbers for
further information.Note that this transaction is 100% risk-free and it requires
mutual trust and absolute confidentiality and my son have taken care of all
formalities regarding this transaction. Your urgent response will be highly
appreciated in this regard.Thanks and God bless.
MRS. JENNIFER MPOYO .
NB. Or you can
contact my Son Fredrick Mpoyo through this E-mail address (email@example.com)Or
through his Cell Number : (+27) 73 229 1403.He
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