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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr.SK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Dr.SK" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:57:51 +0100 (CET)
Subject: I am Dr.Shabalala Kampala,please read.
I am Dr.Shabalala Kampala,the Former Economic&Financial Adviser to the incumbent Zimbabwean President,Mr.Robert Mugabe,a dictator who has been in Power since the independence of the country in 1980.
I am right now seeking Asylum somewhere safer,because the President wants me dead because I am one of the new advocates of power change,and he would not hear of this,especially since I threatened to initiate the process of returning all his stolen funds scattered around Europe,due to the fact that my name was used in syphoning the money out of Zimbabwe as his front.
Where I now need your help is that since I am now seeking Asylum,and I cannot move around freely,and also cannot return the money.I now intend to use the money for myself and my family.So,I will need your help to take control of the money until such a time when my situation is better.Therefore if you are interested in working with me,then you should quickly send me your direct phone&fax numbers,address and other relevant information to make this transfer effective.
The money in question is US$105Million.
I will wait to hear from you urgently.
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