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:
- "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 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: "Mrs Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 22 May 2018 15:26:25 -0000
Subject: VERY URGENT...................220.127.116.11
I am the former first lady of Zimbabwe ,My Name is
Mrs Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe, the wife of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe. i intend to invest in Real Estate and
your country.I am looking for a reliable person that will help me to
this money.You will be compensated with some percentage of the total
Kindly update me if you can represent my interest or if there is any
lucrative Business in the area related to your field do not delay to
posted.Contact me directly on (email@example.com)with your
direct phone number,age,address,occupation and details.
Thanks for anticipate cooperation.
Mrs Grace Ntombizodwa Mugabe