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 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)
- "confidentiality of this transaction" (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 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: "Susa Shaban" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2017 10:05:19 -0300
First, let me start by introducing myself as Mrs. SUSAN SHABANGU, a mother of three children and the Minister of Women in the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa since May 2014. To date under the auspices of the President of South Africa MR JACOB ZUMA. After due deliberation with mychildren, I decided to contact you for your assistance in standing as a beneficiary to the sum of US$30.5M (Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) You can view my profile at my (website by clicking (http://whoswho.co.za/susan-shabangu-2169 ) and read about me.
THE PROPOSAL, After the swearing in ceremony making me the Minister of Women in the Presidency, my husband Mr. Ndebele Shabangu died while he was on an official trip to china in 2014.After his death, I discovered that he had some funds in a dollar account which amounted to the sum of US$30.5M with a security and finance institution in South Africa of which I will divulge information to you when I get your full consent and support to go for a change of beneficiary and subsequent transfer of the funds into you a comfortable and conducive account of your choice.
If you agree to my terms, kindly as a matter of urgency send me an email.(email@example.com) if you want to speak with my Banker that promise to help move this fund out of south Africa to your account, that is fine give you my private numbers so that we can talk more about the transfer, Please I do not need to remind you of the need for absolute
Confidentiality of this transaction.
please get back to me as soon as i et your reply or pone call i will give you full details
From: Mrs. Susan Shabangu
Minister of Women in the Presidency
Of The Republic of South Africa