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:
- "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)
- "30% for you " (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Robert Colona <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Robert Colona <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2017 23:32:08 +0200 (SAST)
Subject: Good day dear
FROM: Mr. Robert Colona
NO: 12 MANDELA CLOSE.
PHONE + 27 63 066 2084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I write to you irrespective of the fact that you don't know me. I got your contact from your country business directory and through a reliable source. First, I must introduce myself, My Name is Robert Colona I am a staff of one of the leading banks in South Africa I am writing asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds, which we want to keep under your supervision. The Funds totaling ($48,800,000.00) I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this fund cannot be approved to a local Bank here, because the funds are in US Dollars. The owner of this account is Officer William Tansky 57 years of age from Los Angeles, CA in America, and he died since 2000 in an air crash along with his wife & Daughter on 31/01/2000 in an Alaska Airlines Flight 261 with other passengers on board.
Please, I am proposing 30% for you for your assistance while my colleagues and I receive 60% and 10% earmarked for purposes of taxation in your country and mine. Please if you are interested kindly forward to me the following information stated below:
(1) Your direct telephone number:
(2) Your direct fax number:
(3) Your Full Names:
(4) Your age:
(5) Your Residential Address:
And I will send you all the detailed information and documents that you will need to process an application for the claims of the funds.
Mr. Robert Colona.