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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: awardnotificationx1 <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 12:35:29 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: FROM MR ROBERT SINCLAIR,REPLY TO(firstname.lastname@example.org)
May I have the pleasure of introducing myself. I am Mr. Robert Sinclair, a senior staff and chairman of Tender Board Committee on the award of contracts in
Department of Works and Housing here in South Africa.
I got your contact E-mail address from an international directory on lawyers and advisers on international business in my quest to find a trustworthy person
on whom I can have confidence for colossal international
money transaction. My aim of sending this "business proposal" to you is to solicit for your assistance and cooperation to transfer some huge amount of money
into your account overseas. Therefore, this communication should be held
in high confidence.
My colleague and I in the Department of Works and Land Affairs wish to transfer into a safe and secured account overseas, the sum of THIRTY TWO
MILLION FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS (US$32.5M) which is over-invoiced amount from
contracts we awarded to foreign contractors who have been duly paid on completion of their various contracts. This money right now is in a coded account in
the Reserve Bank of South Africa.
However, by virtue of our position as civil servants, we cannot acquire these funds in our names or in the names of companies here in South Africa. I was
therefore asked by my colleagues on trust and sincerity to look for a reliable international outfit partner abroad into whose account the sum
of US$32.5 Million will be transferred. We have agreed on the following sharing ratio if you accept our proposal. Seventy percent (70%) for us and Thirty percent
(30%) for you, the Account owner.
My choice of you for this transaction is basically hanged on your field and profession, hence this business proposal. If you are interested in this deal, I will
require some information from you in order to effect the transfer of the money. Please, be informed that we shall commence processing of claims of payment
once we receive your interest from you and the funds will get into your account within Five (5) working days by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T).
Note that this transaction is 100% risk free. Do acknowledge the receipt of this letter above and forward your reply to this E-mail address
(email@example.com) or you can call me on my private phone no + 27 81 741 5122.
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