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.
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Bongani" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 6 Aug 2011 10:15:38 -0700
Subject: Dr. Bongani
FROM: DR. BONGANI A. BONGANI
DIRECTOR OF PROJECTS
DEPARTMENT OF MINERALS & ENERGY
Phone: +27 781 480 791
Fax: +27 865 994 122
I write, asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds to tune of Twenty Five Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars (US$25.850m) which we want to keep safely overseas under your supervision. In other words, we would like you to receive the said funds on our behalf. The Funds were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principle obtained approval to remit overseas.
Kindly pardon the use of a medium informal as this for reaching out to you to make a request of great importance to us. Currently, I work as a Director of Projects at The Department of Minerals & Energy here in Pretoria. I have the authority and approval of my partners involved in this transaction to negotiate a suitable compensation for your participation and I propose 22.2 percent, while we also propose that we receive 46.6 percent and 31.2 percent be earmarked for purposes of taxation.
This endeavor has a minimal risk factor on your part provided you treat it with the utmost discretion. You are advised to reach me through email or you can contact me on my number for further clarifications. Kindly send the following information:
(1) Your Full Name and your address
(2) Your telephone/fax numbers
(3) Your Nationality
(4) Your Age
(5) Your occupation
I am available for further clarification via email or telephone number that is above.
I kindly wait to hear from you.