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:
- "demurrage " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "consignment " (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)
- "million 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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- +447045734345 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Alex Zunaga" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:47:51 +0800
Subject: RE: YOUR OPINION
In appreciation of your esteemed contact received through a reliable source and the choice of your country I wish to introduce myself.My name is Alex Zunaga the SON of late Mr Anthony Zunaga of Zimbabwe.
Our father late Mr Anthony Zunaga who was recently murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe alongside with my mother Carol Zunaga on their way to church on a Sunday morning by some Government instigated assassins. My Parents were among the few blacks Zimbabwe rich farmers murdered in cold blood by the agents of the ruling government of President Robert Mugabe for his alleged support and sympathy of the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the whites.
This land problem arose when President Robert Mugabe introduce a new land act which wholly effects the rich white farmers and some blacks vehemently condemned the modus operadi adopted by the government that resulted to rampant killings and mob action by the war veterans and some political thugs, precisely more than sixty one (61) people have been killed. Heads of government from Western World especially Britain and United States of America have voice their condemnation of Mugabe's plans.
Please log on here to see for yourself,
Before his death, he informed me of ($25 Million dollars) he deposited with my name as the beneficiary with a private Security Company as if he foresaw the looming danger in Zimbabwe. The money was deposited as a consignment in a box to the security company to avoid seizure, and to avoid much demurrage from the security company. This money was meant for the purchase of new machinery farm tools and establishment of a new farm in Swaziland.
Since our life is in great danger, we fled to UK (LONDON) as asylum seekers it is against this background that my sister and I are ready to accept any considerable condition to however that can help us receive this money and invest it . I promise to abide by your instruction to retrieve the money our father deposited in the Security Company.
I will give you further details you might like to know regarding this transaction including some documents from the Security Company as proof of deposit of the fund once I receive your approval to assist us.
I hope to hear from you soon.
(+447 045 734 345).