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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alfred Dlamini-Zuma" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 01:56:01 -0500
Subject: Wating for your respond!!
It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me but I have a
lucrative business proposal of mutual interest to share with you. I got your reference in my search for
someone who suits my proposed business relationship.
I am Mr. Alfred Dlamini-Zuma, i work in Standard Chartered Bank South Africa. I will need you to assist me in
executing a business project from South Africa to your country. It involves the transfer of a large sum of
money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavor to
observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been successfully
transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us.
I shall furnish you with more informations about this operation.
Please if you are not interested delete this email and do not hunt me because I am putting my career and
the life of my family at stake with this venture. Although nothing ventured is nothing gained.
Your earliest response to this letter will be appreciated.