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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Basil Ndulula <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:55:55 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: TREAT AS A MATTER OF URGENCY.
FROM:THE DESK OF DR BASIL NDULULA.
Bill and Exchange Manager,
I am a banker in ABSA BANK REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA.
I have a Business proposal of US$17.5Million for you.
The fund belongs to a deceased customer who died with his next of kin
leaving nobody for the claim.
I want to present you as his next of kin to my bank so that the fund
will be transfer to your bank account. Your share will be 50% percent
while 50% will be for me. No risk involved in this transaction.
If you are interested, Contact me with the above e-mail / phone number
for more details.
With Best Regards
DR BASIL NDULULA.