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 states 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "email@example.com" (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 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: john <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: john <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:15:05 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM JOHN FRANKEL
Â From Mr. John Frankel
Contact NumberÂ +27 840 118 452
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgSouth Africa Johannesburg
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
Compliment of the day, May I have the pleasure of introducing myself? I am Mr.John Frankel a senior staff and chairman of Tender Board Committee on the awardof contracts in Department of Works and Housing here in South Africa. I gotyour contact E-mail address through the internet in my search to find atrustworthy person on whom I can repose confidence for colossal internationalmoney transaction. My aim of sending this "business proposal" to youis to solicit for your assistance and co-operation to transfer some huge amountof fund into your account overseas. Therefore, this communication should beheld in high confidence.
My colleague and I in the Department of Works & Housing wish to transferinto a safe and secured account overseas, the sum of twenty five MILLION FIVEHUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$25.5M) which is over-invoiced amountfrom contracts we awarded to foreign contractors who have been duly paid oncompletion of their various contracts. This money right now is in a codedaccount in the Reserve Bank of South Africa.
However, by virtue of our position as civil servants, we cannot acquire thesefunds in our names or in the names of companies here in South Africa. Itherefore asked by my colleague on trust and sincerity to look for a reliableinternational outfit partner abroad into whose account the sum of US$25.5Million would be transferred. We have agreed on the following sharing ratio ifyou accept our proposal. Sixty percent (60%) for us and thirty percent (30%)for you, the Account owner (5%) will be for expenses both parties Might haveincurred during the process of the transferring, and (5%) will be preserved forhelping the helpless people, like charity organization and motherless babies.
My choice of you for this transaction is basically hanged on your field andprofession, hence this business proposal. If you are interested in this deal, Iwill require some informationâs from you in order to affect the transfer of themoney. Please, be informed that we shall commence processing of claims ofpayment once we receive your interest from you, and the funds will get intoyour account within Five (5) working days by Telegraphic Transfer (T.T). Note that this transaction is 100% risk free. Doacknowledge the receipt of this letter by indicating your interest in thetransaction and also including your direct contact details such as yourtelephone and fax numbers for easy communication or call me on the abovenumbers to reconfirm.
My Private +27 840 118 452
Private email: email@example.com
Mr.Â John FrankelÂ