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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: "James Wilbur" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 03:26:31 +0700
I do hope that your day is good. My name is James Wilbur, state minister from Pretoria in South Africa. I saw your profile on yellow pages and decided to contact you over investments with your support and assistance.
I am a top politician and civil servant in government in South Africa that requires your kind assistance and understanding.
I am requesting for your assistance and understanding to receive a huge amount of money on my behalf for investment purposes in real estate in your country. It is against the government regulations in South Africa for active civil servants in government to have foreign investments or bank accounts, hence my humble request that all investments which will be located in your country will be managed by anyone that can stand as my partner to receive the funds on my behalf.
I am soliciting with you in this regard to understand the nature of this transaction which has to be kept very confidential between all parties involved. If you can work with me to receive the funds and start up this investment projects in real estate, you will be well compensated for your time, efforts and understanding.
I will like you to think about this proposal and respond back as soon as possible to know if we can work together on this issue and also for me to provide more details to you. However if you are not available to work with me, I do sincerely apologize for taking your precious time and advice that you delete this mail and keep our correspondences confidential.
Thanking you for your time and looking forward to your response.
Note;all correspondences should be forwarded through my personal email address as stated below: