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:
- "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)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing 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.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "JUDE MILLER" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 08:16:17 -0800
Subject: FROM:JUDE MILLER - FUND TRANSFER US$25M
From: Mr. Jude Miller.
Republic Of South Africa.
Phone: 27 835 265 250.
Fax: 27 86 55 88 420.
E mail: email@example.com
You may be surprised to receive this letter from me since you do not know me personally. I am Mr. Jude Miller. The first son of Robert Miller who was recently murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe. I got your contact through network online hence I decided to write you, to seek for your co-operation, assistance and understanding. Before the death of my father, he had taken me to Johannesburg to deposit the sum of US$25M (twenty five Million United States Dollars), in one of the private security companies, as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. This money was concealed in a box but described t the security company as germ stones and family antiques to avoid detection or the temptation of anybody stealing the money.
This amount was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals for the farms and establishment of new farm in Swaziland. This land problem came when Zimbabwean President Mr. Robert Mugabe introduced a new Land Act reform which wholly affected the rich white farmers and some few black's farmers. And this resulted to the killing and mob action by Zimbabwean war veterans and some political tugs belonging to the president's party.
Infect lot of people were killed because of this land reformed Act for which my father was one of the victims. It is against this background that, I and my family who are currently staying in South Africa decided to transfer my father's money to a foreign account since the law of South Africa prohibits a refugee (asylum seeker) to open any bank account or to be involved in any financial transaction.
As the eldest son of my father, I am saddle with the responsibility of seeking for a genuine foreign account where this money could be lodged/ transferred without the knowledge of my government who are bent on taking everything we have got. The South African government seems to be playing along with them. I am faced with the dilemma of investing this amount of money in South Africa for fear of going through the same experience in future since both countries have similar political history. Moreover, the South African Foreign Exchange Policy does not allow such investments for political refugees. I am entrusting my future and that of my family in your hands, I must let you know that this transaction is risk free. If you accept to assist me and my family all I want you to do for me is to make arrangements and come to Johannesburg-South Africa, so that you will aid us to transfer the money into any account which you will nominate overseas.
We intend to use this money for investment in your country. We have two options for you; firstly you can choose to have a certain percentage of the money for nominating your account for this transaction. Or you can go into a partnership with us for proper profitable investment of the money in your country according to your directives. Whichever of the options you want feel free to notify me? We have also mapped out 5% of this money for all kinds of expenses we might incur in the process of this transaction. If you do not prefer partnership I am willing to give you 15% of the money while the remaining 80% will be for my family's investment in your country.
Contact me with my Telephone number+27 835 265 250.while I implore you to maintain the absolute secrecy required in this transaction. Best regards while looking forward to receiving your reply as soon as you receive this letter.
PS: You can view the below for more information.
Mr. Jude Miller.
(For the Family).