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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "STELLA BOTHA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2011 06:07:50 -0500
Subject: URGENT PROJECT:::::::
I am account manager with one of the leading banks in Cape Town South Africa,
in my bank I discovered an abandoned large sum of fund totaling (US$14.5M)
belonging to one of our foreign customers, an American national and
businessman based in Johannesburg South Africa. Who was involved in a horrible
boat accident in the year 2007 along with his wife and three children?
I am therefore, seeking for your co-operation to front you as the beneficiary
of the funds he left behind since there is no other next of kin to claim the
funds as shown on his record with my bank. The Strategy is to use my influence
as branch account manager to provide you with the relevant information's that
has to do with the said account, which will enable you put in application for
the claim of the USD14.5 Million on your favors. So if you are interested on
this humble offer, I will appreciate you reconfirm the following information's
below to me so that we can proceed on the transaction as time is of high essence.
Your names in full, Your office or residential address, Your occupation and
place of work, Your direct contact numbers cell phone and fax, Your age, Your
marital status. Upon receipt of this information's, I shall advice you further
on a possible way forward regarding how to apply for the funds.
I await your urgent response,
Mr. Abram Kopano.