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:
- "million us 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)
- 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.
- 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: Dr kash stan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 03:43:39 -0500
I am a private accountant and chief external auditor Amalgamated Bank in
South Africa, I want to transfer ($27,000.000 USD) Twenty seven million US
Dollars, An investor and a contractor with the Kruger diamond mines died
without naming a legal next of kin to his fund in my bank. First, I must
solicit your strictest confidence in this transaction. This is by virtue of
its nature as being utterly confidential. I am sure and have confidence of
your ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of this great
magnitude. I solicit your assistance to enable us transfer the said amount
into your safe account for onward investment.
You can either provide us with an existing account or to set up a new Bank
account immediately to receive this money, even an empty a/c can serve to
receive this money, as long as you will remain honest to me till the end of
this important business trusting in you and believing that you will never
let me down either now or in future. Further details will be given upon
your reply. below are my personal contact details for our further
communication. Send your reply to my private email address
<email@example.com>*) with your full contact details and call me for
confirmation of this proposal.
Please Visit the website (*http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-13978635
My private telephone number +27 845430599