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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- 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)
- "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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- address and direct cell phone number to this e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regards, (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Richard Nkosi" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2017 12:16:11 -0700
Subject: PAYMENT NOTIFICATION
FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA
PHYSICAL OFFICE ADDRESS:-
82 ADDERLEY STREET, CAPE TOWN, 8001
PO BOX 674, CAPE TOWN, 8000
PHONE: +27 738 740 584
FAX: +27 21 446 3421
I am Richard Nkosi, director cash processing unit, FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA [FNB] the only bank appointed by the IMF/A.U. Members lead by President Robert Mugabe.
Because of the frauds going on in Africa countries where some innocent beneficiaries were asked to pay in advance before receiving their money owed to them.
The above Africa union held meeting in SOUTH AFRICA and resolve to pay all beneficiaries in cash through means of diplomatic courier service. We receive your files from international monetary fund (I.M.F.) as one of the beneficiaries.Take note; three thousand united state dollars (USD$3,000) have been mapped out for all expenses in taxes and other documents that matters
Therefore, I want you to bear it in mind that your total fund will be no more One million five hundred thousand united state dollars ($1.500,000.00) but One million four hundred and ninety seven thousand united state dollars ($1.497,000.00).Therefore, do forward your full name/home address and direct cell phone number to this E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information
Director cash processing unit
First National Bank. (FNB).
PHONE: +27 738 740 584
FAX: +27 21 446 3421