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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Pravin Gordhan" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 17:08:03 +0100
Subject: FOR YOUR URGENT ATTENTION.
I write in respect of your fund brought to the department of National Treasury earlier today from Reserve bank under your name.
>From the reports contained in the file having your information attached to the fund, the fund was supposed to be transferred to you from Reserve bank, but was not due to some reasons that were not mentioned in the file.
The fund is 9.5m USD. Are you aware of the fund? This notification stands as the first and final notice to you for you to claim your fund and after 5 working days of this notification, if I do not hear from you, I will have no option than to declare the fund government's fund.
Please re-confirm the following details;
1, Your full name and address.
2, Your age and occupation.
3, Your cell phone number.
Revert back to me as soon as get this email, so that we can process the release your fund to you.
Honorable Minister of Finance,
Republic of South Africa.