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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Andrew Muzorewa" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 15:36:16 +0200
Subject: Investment Assistance Needed
with due respect, trust and humility, I write you this proposal which I believe it will be of great interest to you. It is understandable that you might be a little bit apprehensive because you do not know me; I found your contact while I was doing a private research on the internet for a reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist me.
After the death of my father Mr. Abel T. Muzorewa, I decided to move out of Zimbabwe, before the death of my father, he deposits the sum of US$18.2M (Eighteen Million Two Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) in one of the private security company, as if he foresaw his death. This money was deposited in a box as germ stones to avoid much demur rage from Security Company. This amount was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals for his farms and established of new farm in Swaziland.
So if you consider this proposal, I will give you 25% of the total sum for helping us to move this money out of South Africa and 75% will be for me and my family for investment in your country.
Finally, as soon as you have indicated your interest and capability to handle this transaction then I will details you the modality. Please contact me for more details on email and mobile number. Email: email@example.com Mobile: +27 83 883 6099
Mr. Andrew Muzorewa.