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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Karim Mudzingwa" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 19:52:44 -0000
Subject: Please I Need Your Assistant
I am sorry to disturb you with this message but after going through your profile, I decided to let you know base on what am going through. My name is Karim Mudzingwa. I am 20 year old,
My father was one of the ministers who were murdered along with my mother by the Robert Mugabe rebels when they were relocating from the capital city to South Africa because of political crisis. I live with my uncle before he died he revealed to me about the deposit of three trunk box which he deposited in private security company in Mali.
My uncle requested that I should give him some of my fathers documents. I refused and he collaborated with his wife and turn against me. My father has a lot of properties in Zimbabwe which some of them were seized by the president Robert Mugabe. In course of searching for my father's properties, my uncle's wife served me a poison meal. But as God may have it, I was weak that day and have some symptom of malaria and lost of appetite, I had no appetite to eat the food, but I waited and gave my food to the dog.
Surprising, the following morning the dog found died. Everyone were asking what happen, after an hour my uncle wife came to me and ask me I eat the food last night and I responded yes of course. From there I discovered that the meal was poison for me and I have no option than to make a move away from the house to save my life.
I relocated to Senegal (Dakar) for political asylum; I found your email through the dictionary chamber of commerce France, I want to move to your country and go back to school, I have called our lawyer but I needed a foreigner to help me invest while I go back to school to finish my education. If you can help me out, I need someone I can trust, someone thats faithful and someone that have the fear of God.
I want you to promise transparency and respect in society if you are interested
I dont have much access to the internet because I am in the refugee camp but some RED CROSS members do give us the chance to use the internet when they are happy,
Please accept my sincere greeting.
NOTE: I have never disclosed this to any person apart from you, I expect you to keep everything confidential.