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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MR.JAMES MAROLENG" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 04:14:43 -0700
Subject: Mr.James Maroleng
From: Mr. James Maroleng
Director of Projects
Department of Minerals & Energy
Tel: + 27-715-325-274
I write, asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds to tune of Twelve Million, Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$12.8m) which we want to keep safely overseas under your supervision.In other words, we would like you to receive the said funds on our behalf. The Funds were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principle obtained approval to remit overseas.
Kindly pardon the use of a medium informal as this for reaching out to you to make a request of great importance to us.Currently, I work as a Director of Projects at The Department of Minerals & Energy here in Pretoria. I have the authority and approval of my partners involved in this transaction to negotiate a suitable compensation for your participation and I propose 22.2 percent, while we also propose that we receive 46.6 percent and 31.2 percent be earmarked for purposes of taxation.
This endeavor has a minimal risk factor on your part provided you treat it with the utmost discretion. You are advised to reach me through email or you can contact me on my number for further clarifications.
I am available for further clarification via email or telephone number that is above.
I kindly wait to hear from you.