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. )
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr James Kumaloza " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 12:35:40 +0200
Subject: From: JAMES KUMALOZA
From: JAMES KUMALOZA
Tel: +27 745 764 934
INVITATION FOR PARTNERSHIP
With due respect, trust and humility, I write to you this proposal, which I believe would be of great interest to you. I Am looking for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist my family and I to transfer fund to his personal or company account and for investment purpose's am Mr. JAMES KUMALOZA the son of Late Mr. ERNEST KUMALOZA, who was the "Chairman" of the farmer's co-operation in Zimbabwe.
My Father was among the people that were murdered in cold blood by the President Robert Mugabe Administration during the land dispute that just happened in Zimbabwe.
After the death of my Father, we decided to move out of ZIMBABWE because our lives were in danger because of the money that my father kept in his hidden safe in our house. The amount contained in the safe is £20, 000, 000, 00 (TWENTY MILLION BRITISH POUNDS STERLING).
This money was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals for the farms and establishment of new farms in Swaziland. We moved to South Africa and deposited this money in a security company in a box as valuables belonging to our foreign partner pending when we see somebody that will assist us, for the safety of ours.
We are presently in South Africa as Refugee (Asylum Seekers) and as such the law of South Africa does not permit us to operate or open any bank account here in South Africa or be involved in any financial transaction with the bank. That is why we contacted you to assist us in this transaction.
We are ready to give you 30% of the total amount for the inconveniences this may cost you and for accepting to assist us, contact me on the above telephone.
Indicating your interest as soon as possible, on receiving of your acceptance, I shall be glad to give you more clarification on the modalities needed for the smooth successful completion of this transaction.
I anticipate your quick response
(For and on Behalf of the Family)