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:
- "i will like you 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: "Mrs. Nkoana Mashabane" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2012 11:22:18 +0800
Subject: Your Kind Reply
I am Mrs. Maite Nkoana Mashabane, am the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Please view my profile. http://www.gcis.gov.za/gcis/gcis_profile.jsp?id=1480.
I would like you to indicate your interest to receive the transfer of $1.4 Million. I will like you to stand as the beneficiary of the said fund.
However, I will be resigning soon and want to establish any type of machinery tools devices under my own registered company. I have the sum to invest. How can I come in contact with you in partnership/investment transaction?
I want you to assist me in investing the money in your country.
I will also like you to send me the following information below:
(2)Private phone number:
(3)Current residential address:
(6)Age and Sex:
Please I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute Confidentiality if this transaction must succeed. YOU MUST NOT CALL ME! If you do not feel comfortable with this transaction, do not hesitate to discontinue.
I will give you more detail's as soon as you confirm your willingness to assisting me.
Mrs. Nkoana Maite Mashabane