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:
- 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:
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- "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)
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "African Reserve Bank" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 2016 20:37:27 +0300
Subject: Are you Dead or Alive,
Attention: Dear Customer,
This message is to official inform you that we have received payment instructions we also congratulate you for been part of the investors with our bank(South African Reserve Bank) in Marginal we are reputed for offering quality banking solutions. Our services in the industry are made simple to assist clients /our customers in all transaction phases, planning and management of finance.Therefore ,we are happy to inform you that based on our recommendation/instructions, your Entire funds has been gazetted for urgent release and will be credited through but
We need to confirm that this is True Before the bank will Release Your Funds worth $15 Million Dollars(Fifteen Million Dollars only)to one Jennifer Scott. This Office was contacted by the above listed person(Jennifer Scott) From Canada Who came here with an affidavit from Canadian high court of Claim stating to be Your Partner He Promise to finalize everything regarding your Claim as Your Next Of Kin. He said that you were Involved In A car Accident Last year December 2015 and Die without providing a death certificate. We need to confirm that you are truly dead before we can Release the Fund to her.
We Believed That You are Dead But As a Federal Office We need a Proof for Record Purposes Before We Can Release the Funds To Him/her, Therefore, Your Silent is a Clear Proof That you Are Dead. Note we will commence On the Release of your Funds To your Next Of Kin from next week if we do not hear from you, May your Soul Rest in Perfect Peace Amen.
Deputy Director South African Reserve Bank and Debt reconciliation Department
South African Reserve Bank
Fax:+27 86 292 8562