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.
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "David Kuba" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 14:05:21 +0200
Subject: Call Me Urgently +27 839470181
From: FRANK DAVID KUBA
House 3 Extensions 107
Louis Botha Street Soweto South Africa .
Alternative Email: email@example.com
Tel :+27 83 94 70181
I am Mr.Frank David Kuba the Son of late Mr. Pedro Kuba who was murdered by the Zimbabwean veterans and irate black people. I got your contact from South African chamber of commerce when I was searching for a reliable and honest person to transact this business with. I write to solicit for your special assistance to a family shattered by a tyrannical government led by a dictator and his (ZANU-PF) ruling party- president Robert Mugabe. Because of land and farmland crisis in Zimbabwe , the government secretly sponsored the war veterans and some irate party members to disposes the land being occupied by white farmers.
This action has led to the killing of some members of opposition party including my husband who did not support this ill-fated action. But before the death of my Father he deposited the sum of USD$40M (Forty Million United States Dollars) in a safe box in a private security company here in Johannesburg South Africa, as a treasure box fully documented in our only sons name (Frank David Kuba) with the intention of using it to open fertilizer manufacturing company among other companies in our neighboring country (Swaziland) after his university education.
On the 2004, the war veterans and some supporters of (ZANU-PF) ruling party trooped into our compound and axed my father's to death. Since then they have been terrorizing my family but I and my mother managed to escape to South Africa where we are now living as a political asylum seeker (refugee) but the financial laws of South Africa do not permit us financial rights to such a huge amount of money. In view of this, I cannot invest this fund in South Africa hence I solicit for youre assistant to help us transfer the fund to your overseas account for any investment, which you will advice us.
I am prepared to give you 35% of the money for your assistance, 5% will be for any expenses incurred in the process of this transaction, while the remaining 60% will be for our investment in your country. Upon your immediate response, I will immediately arrange and send you all the information that will empower your smooth transaction with the security company in South Africa , I will also send to you the depositary documents of the fund.
Remember to include your direct telephone and fax number in your next mail so I will call you for more confidential discussion. Please treat this transaction with absolute confidentiality. You can as well read more about the crises in my country and about this situation on the following sites: you can call me before sending email.
http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/ africa/08/12/violence. zimbabwe/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ zimbabwe/article/0,2763, 562148,00.html
Thanks and Best Regards
Mr.Frank David Kuba (For the Family)