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:
- "hundred thousand united state dollars" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Marie Leegail" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 2013 12:04:06 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Invitation for partnership investment
# 20 BOTHA CRESCENT SANDTON,
JOHANNESBURG SOUTH AFRICA
My name is Mr. Marie Leegail: I am the Manager Credit and foreign Remittance
Department Of Amalgamated Bank of South Africa (ABSA)
There is an account opened with our bank in 2008 and since then till now
nobody has ever come or operated on this account again, I personally have
interest to see anyone to come for this account but no one, After going through
some old files in the records, I discovered that if I did not remit this money
urgently out of South Africa into a foreign account it will be confiscated to
The owner of this account is Mrs. Veronica Andreas, a foreigner and a miner at
Kruger Gold Company, he died since 2009, no other person knows about this
account or anything concerning it, the account has no other beneficiary and my
investigation proved to me very well that her company does not know anything
about this account and the amount involved is Us$9.5 Million (Nine Million Five
Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this money cannot be approved
to a local bank here in South Africa, but can only be approved to any foreign
account because the money is in US Dollars and the former owner of the account
Mrs. Veronica Andreas was a foreigner.
I want us to meet face to face and sign a binding agreement documents that
will bind us together so that you can receive this money into your foreign
account of your choice where the fund will be safe.
After the conclusion of this transfer, you will be entitle to received 30% of
the total amount for your assistance and help, while 70% will for me and my
partners investment in any lucrative business you will introduce us into in
If this proposal interests you please contact me back on my number+ 27 78 300
67 09, or email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward for your earliest responds.
MR. MARIE LEEGAIL.