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:
- 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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2018 17:50:15 +0200 (SAST)
PLEASE OPEN YOUR FILE:
From Barclays Bank Plc,
No: 1 Churchill Place, London,
ENG E14 5HP,
This message is directed to you, Have you received your payment, The (IMF) has directed us to pay you the sum of GBPÂ£500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Great Britain Pounds).
As compensation to any company or individual affected with, if you have been involved in any fund related issue under contract, lottery awarded payment or other monetary issues which your payment have not been made to you from 2004 to 2018, urgently furnish us the following: Please contact our Agent in South Africa for your payment:
Please forward to them the following details below. (1). Full Names: (2). Occupation: (3). Country of Origin: (4). Cell/Mobile Number: (5). Your Alternative Email:
Contact Person: Mr. Sakhile Kumalo
Tel: + 27 60 474 6005
Reply to this agent email: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We wait for your urgent responds before the end of today.