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:
- "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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- me on this number +27 815 057 464 or email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org best regards, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Albert Armstrong" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 18:57:40 +0100
Subject: RE: URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED
From: Paul Armstrong Gunda
12 Loerie Street; 2001 Johannesburg,
RE: URGENT ASSISTANCE NEEDED
This may appear a bit surprising to you but very beneficial as a matter of urgent am desperately looking for a foreign partner whom I can trust to handle some investment of fund movement.
I am Albert Armstrong, son of late Brig-Gen Paul Armstrong Gunda, who was murdered by the Zimbabwean veterans. I am writing from South Africa. I got your address from the Internet through the consultancy directory during my search for a reliable and honest person to transact this business with.
I write to solicit for your special assistance to a family shattered by a tyrannical government led by a dictator and his (ZANU-PF) ruling party-president Robert Mugabe. Because of land and farm land crisis in Zimbabwe, the government secretly sponsored the war veterans and some irate party members to dispossess the land being occupied by white farmers. This action has led to the killing of some members of opposition party including my Father.
Before the death of my Father, he anticipated some dangers and so he deposited the sum of US$10.5Million (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in my name with a Security and Finance Company in south Africa with the intention of I using it to open fertilizer manufacturing company in our neighboring country (Swaziland) after my university education.
Paul Armstrong Gunda, a brigadier general and hero of the liberation war, died after his car allegedly collided with a train on the Harare-Marondera road in 2007.
Before his death, regarded as suspicious by many Zimbabweans, there were persistent allegations that the 1 Brigade commander was among the military officers involved in a failed plot to topple Mugabe. they have been terrorizing me, but I managed to escape to South Africa as a political asylum seeker (refugee) but my position in South Africa does not permit me to open an account or run any huge financial business.
That is why I want this fund to be transferred into your private account so that you will assist me to invest it in your country. Hence, if you agree to assist me, I will offer you 25% of the money for your assistance, 5% will be for the possible expenses incurred in the process of this transaction, while 70% will be for my family investment in your country under your close supervision.
I need your urgent and confidential response together with your direct mobile number for hitch-free communication.
Kindly contact me on this number +27 815 057 464 or Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org