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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "my direct line" (a "direct line" in a scam usually means an untraceable mobile phone number used by a scammer in an internet cafe, a redirection service number that forwards to a mobile or a free voicemailbox in a different country.)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: peter ben <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: peter ben <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:38:37 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Attn: Dear Friend,
Â Attn: Dear Friend,
I am Peter Ben, Personal banker and account officer to the late UWE Gamballa who was murdered in South Africa, before his death he was the CEO of Porsche Motors. My urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact You for this transaction. I got your contact from yahoo Tourist search while I was searching for a foreign partner. As this message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it All just sure of your capability. And reliability to champion This business opportunity when I prayed to good Lord about you.
Before his death he left the sum of 22Million usd with the ABSA Bank of South Africa were currently work as a banker, and all attempt to communicate with him Family was no avail, and he never included any next of Kin on this account and until now no one has stepped forward to lay claims on the entire funds
Therefore i require your partnership to stand as his next of Kin to enable me prepare all legal paper works in your name to have the funds moved out in your name, and if you agree do respond back to me to enable me furnish you with more details as to the way forward in how this can be achieved. Immediately you receive this letter.
Please indicate your Willingness by sending your information to enable us enter into the official stage of this transaction. For more clarification and easy communication, you can as well call my direct line for further update +27604603020.Also Visit our website www.ABSA.CO.ZA
KINDLY SEND YOUR RESPONSE WITH YOUR DETAILS/INFORMATION REQUESTED TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
I await your response.
Mr. Peter Ben