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:
- "a security company " (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. )
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: " MRS REBECCA GARANG" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2015 19:22:06 -0700
Subject: PLEASE HELP
Dear Intending Partner,
This message may come to you as a surprise, but be assured it is in good faith from a widow in need. I am MRS. REBECCA GARANG the wife of late vice president of SUDAN, DR JOHN GARANG who happens to be the former rebel leader of THE SUDAN PEOPLEC LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SPLM). My husband died on Saturday 30th of July 2005 on a sabotaged helicopter crash just three weeks after his inauguration on the 9th of July in our capital (KHARTOUM may his gentle soul rest in peace. I got your contact through SOUTHN AFRICAN BUSINESS NETWORK though I did not disclose the nature of the business to them during the process of searching for a reliable individual/company who can assist my family in transferring the sum ofUS$22 Million (Twenty Two Million United States Dollars only in a private or company account overseas for safe keeping/investment hence I decide to write you.
Originally the money was mapped out to procure arms and ammunitions for the SPLM military wing and my husband was solely in charge of organizing this purchase. Unfortunately, as the news of the peace agreement breached my husband while he was still in South Africa to make the arms procurement, he used the opportunity to divert this money for our family future use. He was fortunate to be in South Africa when the news came and he deposited this money in a sealed consignment (CASH) as a family valuable for security reasons in a sealed metal box containing the fund with a security company in South Africa. After depositing the money he came back and notified the and my son (JEFFERY MABIOR GARANG) about the money ,he also handed over the documents to us before he was inaugurated along with other top SPLM officials, the cabinet of the incumbent president OMAR AL BASHIR has denied any government involvement in masterminding the death of my beloved husband.
As a family we have agreed to offer you 20% of the total sum of money for your assistance 5% has been mapped out for both local and international expenses that will be incurred by both of us in the course of this transfer and the remaining 75%will be for my family investment in your country through your advice. You have to understand that continuous existence of my family depends on this fund. That is why I have taken the responsibility of making this initial contact for my family. Therefore on acceptance of this proposal you can contact my son JEFFERY MABIOR GARANG who is currently residing in South Africa as a political asylum his direct email: email@example.com for more details on this transaction. Our country has successfully voted in a referendum to become a sovereign nation therefore it is now the right time for us to move this fund. Please understand that the current situation in my Country South Sudan where the government is fighting the rebel who are in support the fo
Every plan concerning this transaction has been completed. I am assuring you that this transaction is 100% risk free but requires absolute trust and confidentiality.
MRS REBECCA GARANG
For the family