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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "necessary legal documents" (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. )
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Edward Turner" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2017 12:58:36 -0800
Subject: BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP!
I am Edward Turner a supervisor with a private security company in South Africa , a Former intelligence chief of Late Muammar Ghaddafi Mr.Abdullah Senussi, of Libya. There is absolutely going to be a great doubt and distrust in your heart in respect of this letter coupled with the fact that, so many individuals have taken possession of the internet to facilitate their nefarious deeds, thereby making it extremely difficult for genuine and legitimate business class persons to get attention and recognition. There is no way for me to know whether I will be properly understood, but it is my duty to write and reach out to you as a person based on great fidelity and trust. Your contact is by a courtesy of my good friend who was a member of South African Export Promotion Council (SAEPC) in Johannesburg.
Before the Libyan uprising in 2011 Mr. Abdullah Sennusi deposited the sum of US$40,500,000.00 (Forty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) with out security company here in South Africa . after his arrest he was convicted and killed according to Libyan law. Since I have been unsuccessful in locating the relatives for over a period of time, I seek your consent to present you as the next of kin to the deceased so that the proceeds of this account valued at US$40,500,000.00 (Forty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only) can be transferred into your designated account. Then I shall proceed down to your country with you to confirm the net amount in your account and to invest my share of the money if you permit me.
I shall re validate and notarize all the necessary legal documents that can be used to back up any claim that the bank may need, this is a risk (100%) I guarantee you this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I need your strong assurance and confidentiality. I will give you 40% while 60% for me. Contact me on the above email and send your mobile telephone number to me in your response.
This link will give you more insight on what went down in Libya during Ghadaffi regime .(http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/06/02/Gaddafi-billions-found-in-SA1?ref=yfp) (http://images.timeslive.co.za/docs/Libyan%20letters.pdf)