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:
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "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)
- 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:
Date: Mon, 05 Jun 2017 14:25:14 -0400
Subject: Be My Partner
I am a mining services consultant. I am 46 years old male (I shall provide you with more details on my background later). I have worked for South Africa department of mineral and energy as project director and now ESCOM. At the moment, I am a consultant for several mining companies advising them on liquefied natural gas exports and storage but the government wants me to be the new spoke person of South African airways (SAA)
The South Africa economy has witnessed a steady growth since the end of Apartheid. Within the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources where I worked as director of Auditing and Project Implementation, Mining and Quarrying alone contributes 12.3% GDP (R25.9Billion), Gold made up R19.9Billion of the yearly export while Base metals and other mineral products contribute R6.7Billion and R5.0Billion respectively. This figure excludes Diamond, which is quoted separately.
The Government has continuously strived to improve and maintain good relationship with foreign governments and Non-Governmental financial agencies by ensuring payments for all debts owed to foreign contractors. As a matter of fact, the Government has sponsored several trade delegations overseas to improve and attract foreign investments to South Africa.
I write, asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds to tune of Forty- Five Million Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$45.7) which we want to keep safely overseas under your supervision. In other words, we would like you to receive the said funds on our behalf. The Funds were derived over time from a project awarded to a foreign firm by my Department, and presently the actual contract cost have been paid to the original project executors, leaving the balance in the tune of the said amount which we have in principle obtained approval to remit overseas.
Currently, the funds are currently lodge in a bank. Once the funds is approved in your name by the reserve bank committee instructions shall be giving to the paying bank to effect the transfer of the said funds into your nominated bank account
I await in anticipation your fullest co-operation.
Director, Project Implementation.