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.
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- robert savimbi direct tel.line; +27 83 687 6562 email:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org in your email to my son robert (Pnetmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Agnes Savimbi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 21:50:53 -0800
Subject: FROM:MRS AGNES SAVIMBI(BE A GOD SENT TO ME)
FROM:MRS AGNES SAVIMBI
This letter may come to you as a surprise but I really prayed to God to help me choose somebody that will be my true partner, a person who has a fear of God that
cannot betray my remaining family and me as I dont even know whom to trust so I allowed the spirit of God to lead me.
I am Mrs. Agnes Jonas Savimbi, wife of the late leader of the National Union of the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA) After surviving more than a dozen assassination
attempts, my husband, Savimbi was killed four years later, in February 2004, in a battle with Angolan government troops. Two weeks before he died, he called me
and reveals the existence of US$25,000,.000.00 (Twenty five Million, United States Dollars) being deposited in a suspense account with the bank in South Africa.
This money was income accrue from the sale of Gold & Diamond. When I heard the bad news of my husband's death, his trusted aid moved me and
members of our family out on hiding, but unfortunately my elder son and 1 were caught and place under house arrest. Luckily to us, my second son being sharp and
clever has escaped through Zambia to South Africa where he resides as a political refugee.
Now the problem he is facing their is that the labour of South Africa does not permit an asylum seeker (Refugee) the right to financial transaction. This was
the basic reason why I decide to contact you, so that you will stand as the beneficiary of the funds, we are prepared to transfer the ownership of the funds to
your name. 30% of the total money goes to you, as a commission for your services, while 70% goes to my family, which we intend to invest, immediately we are being released from house arrest. I am assuring you that this transaction is risk free as we have put all the logistics in place to make it successful, all we need from you is your
co-operation and sincerity of purpose.
You will be contacting my son on his details below for more details on how you are going to assist us conclude this transaction. I will wait for your response through
my son, thank you and God bless.
Name: Robert Savimbi
Direct Tel.Line; +27 83 687 6562
EMAIL:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
In your email to my son Robert Savimbi, kindly forward to him the following:
1 Your Full Name
2.Your Contact (Home) Address
3.Your Telephone and Fax number
Thanks and may the almighty father guide us through.
Mrs. Agnes Savimbi