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:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rosemary Rossouw." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 02:14:26 +0100
Subject: I expect to receive your suggestions.
Communication dated 08/09/2010.
I am aware that you might be a bit apprehensive on receipt of my message probably because of the medium I used to contact you but however, the reason of my communication to you is based on my client's interest to work with you as her partner in a proposed investment project.
To formally introduce myself, my names are Mrs. Rosemary Rossouw. I am a consultant by profession and I engage in business feasibility. My client has serious interest to invest a considerable sum of money in lucrative business opportunities in your country. My clients request is for a sincere individual who is competent to work with her by putting her money to good use for a period of 6 years for a start with an option of extension depending on performance and actualized profit from such investment.
Please if you are interested to work with my client, contact me and I will provide you with other necessary information. Thanks and have a nice day.
Mrs. Rosemary Rossouw.
13 Grayston Drive, Morningside,
Tel: +27 86 609 0602.