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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "my direct telephone number" (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.)
- "chief auditor" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Augustus Kebby <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:15:45 +0100
Subject: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY AND RESPOND.
I want to trust you to assist me in this business transaction. I am
Mr. Augustus Kebby the Area District chief auditor of the Standard
Bank Plc - South Africa (STB).
There is an account opened in this bank in 2002 and since 2013, nobody
has operated on this account again. After an intensive investigation,
I discovered that the owner of this account was the owner of GENE
BILLINGS COMPANY PLC. A foreigner and Diamond magnet that died in 2009
and the account has no beneficiary, my investigation proved to mean
well that this company does not know anything about this account. The
amount involved is US$33.100.000.00 (Thirty-Three Million, One Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars Only). In the light of the above fact,
honesty I need your assistance to move this fund to another account
outside South Africa for you and I to share 70-30%.If I can trust you
on this, respond for details of the transfer.
I look forward to your earnest response and bear in mind that I will
supply to you any information or details require for the success of
this transfer from the bank where the fund was originally deposited,
reach me on my direct telephone number: +27 781 792 517 or you can
reply by my private e-mail address for more confidentiality
Mr. Augustus Kebby