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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Shirley Gasela" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Ms. Shirley Gasela" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 19:27:59 +0300
Can Ms. Shirley Gasela trust you?
From: Ms Shirley Gasela
Date: 17th May,2013
No:23 Jams-Mut Way,Krukersdop
I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the wish of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and reward you abundantly and you would never regret this.
My name is Shirley Gasela . I am 37years of age, and a daughter and a heir of the Zimbabwian Former minister of agriculture that was against the leadership of Robert Mugabe(President),Which resulted in death of my father by president Robert Mugabe and enventually they burnt and confiscated my famer's assets.
My mother, I and my immediate younger sister came down to Republic of South Africa as asylum seekers,where the money was being deposited to the private security company by my late father for safe keeping purpose with out disclosing the contents of the box to them and with interests in relocating to your country, and venturing all of our funds in excess of some USD30 Million, all in USD100 bills. For also in your assistance in your line of business, and under your auspices.
You are to take home 20% of the gross for all your anticipated assistance by the time the funds are successfully lodged in your nominated account(s)overseas while 5% is set aside for miscellaneous expenses. But first of all we need to know you more,and also we would need to move the funds and ofcourse ourselves out of this place as soon as we can possible arrange that to be.
My mother and I have carefully worked out the modalities for the eventual transfer. You are to participate as our foreign partner in the scheme of arrangement. Kindly reply wto my personal email address :firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Thanks and God bless,
Ms. Shirley Gasela
On Behalf of the entire Family