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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jabu Mdlamini" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 10:03:47 +0200
Subject: Dear Sir / Madam ....
I am Mr. Jabu Mdlamini, Manager of a South African Bank, Cape-Town Branch in South Africa.
I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable to keep this deal TOP SECRET. I need strong assurance that you will never let me down, if I transfer this money to your account.
Tell me more about yourself, while I look forward to hearing from you, I want to assure you that this business is risk free and you can send an empty account to receive the funds, provided that the account is capable to receive incoming funds.
Thank you for your time and attention.