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:
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "attorneys " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "FAMILY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 23:42:52 +0200
Subject: FAMILY IN NEED
In God,s loving arm
This may appear a bit surprise to you but very beneficial as a matter of urgency and we are desperately looking for a foreign partner whom we can trust to handle some investment or fund movement.
I got your address from the consultancy directory during my search for a reliable and honest person to transact this business with, I currently reside in Johannesburg , South Africa with my three Children. I am from Swaziland . My late husband until his death, was an employee with Anglo Gold before his death in November 7th 2009, our attention was drawn by his attorney (Lawyer) in regards to the deposit of US$6.1 million made by my late husband to one of the commercial banks in South Africa . Before his untimely demise, my late husband (Mr. Lawrence Darshana) was the Project Engineer of the above named firm, and since his working life, he has been with the said company, where he made fortunes as the project engineer. He was happily married with me and my children, although his death was so untimely, such made us not to be aware of this deposit, until our attention was drawn by his attorney on the 5th of January this year and ever since then, weve been trying to figure out on the best way we should tackle on
We have contacted with the commercial bank on our intention to transfer the deposited fund out of South Africa as we do not have any intention of investing in this part of the world due to the huge tax requirements by the authorities for any foreign investments. On this case, our attorney has giving us his support to provide to us all the information we might require to set up an appropriate claim of the fund, also for transfer to any foreign bank account which we may desire the fund to be remitted. We find it in our uttermost interest to contact you for your assistance and we wish to invest under your guidelines and supervision, though we have mapped out the sharing formalities. For the attorneys assistance, he will be pocketing 2% of the total fund
we shall be offering you 35% of the total fund.3% might be used for the cause of the transfer 60% of the total fund in any meaningful investment under your total guideline and supervision.
You can respond immediately to private email: email@example.com
Mrs. Helen Darshana
(for and on behalf of Darshanas family)
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