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:
- "dormant account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Dr James Mphela <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:58:50 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: From Mr James Mphela
>From Dr. James Mphela
I am Dr. James Mphela, an appointed executive member of Independent Committee of Eminent Persons (ICEP), South Africa. The ICEP is charged with the responsibility of finding bank accounts in South Africa belonging to Non-South African citizens, which have remained dormant since South African apartheid was resolved in 1994. It may interest you to know that in July of 2011, the South African Reserve Bank published a list of dormant accounts originally opened by non- South African citizens.
Â The Claims Resolution Board has put funds in Escrow accounts awaiting submission of valid claims for necessary disbursement to all successful claimants around the globe. I find myself privileged to have this information and this may be a great opportunity for a lifetime success without risks. I have got everything worked out and the amount I want to move out is $34.7M and this fund is available for immediate movement to anyone who is willing and capable to work with me before my appointment/contract here expires in this office/country.
So if you find yourself capable in working with me in this huge business deal, don't hesitate to get back to me as soon as immediate and you can only reach me through my private email address designed for this project, which is, (email@example.com)
Dr. James Mphela
Executive Member (ICEP)