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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "waiting for 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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs. Sharron Ndlovu <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 02:53:37 -0500
Subject: From: Mrs. Sharron Ndlovu
This is HTML source of message you composed. Do not modify here.
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From: Mrs. Sharron Ndlovu
201 Kings way Ave Ackuland Park
Attn: Dear Sir /Madam
My name is Mrs. Sharron Ndlovu, from Zimbabwe Southern Africa I am The Wife of Late Mr. Hillary Ndlovu. Owner Ndlovusfarms Harare Ltd, affected by President Mugabes land reform acts which are depriving us of rights in all facts.
I apologize for any inconveniences this message may bring especially coming from complete stranger. However, it is an urgent call for assistance as our ugly (circumstance) predicaments here compelled my action. I have $12.5 Million dollars, which I will like to invest for my children Miss. Fikile and Junior, in your country through your company since I am not business incline following the lost of my husband.
If you are interested do get back to me for more information you can contact us through my above E-mail address:email@example.com
You may wish to read about the problems in Zimbabwe my country through the following links clearing any doubt proposition to ascertain my reasons of contacting you and the situation we are in and really will appreciate if you assist us, please if you are honest and trust worthy person contact me but if you are not or have bad intention against me and my family please do us a favor by ignoring this call.
Waiting for your urgent response
Mrs. Sharron Ndlovu
God bless you