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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very confidential" (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: "Mr. Simon Adams"<email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2019 14:50:08 +0200
Subject: PLEASE WRITE ME BACK
I am Mr. Simon Adams, I represent a well-known African family currently living in Political Asylum. I have a very sensitive and private brief from this family to ask for your partnership to re-profile a large amount of fund. I will give the details, but in summary, the fund is in Custodial Service of an international Logistics Company with offices and vault in South Africa. They are in alliance with one of the prime Bank where they have a considerable stake.
Presently our firm has established a profiling channel through some high profile bankers in the one of the major bank they intend to use and they have put a plan in place to move the capital through the assistance of the Logistic Company into the bank. We need to present you/your Company as a management Consultant to undertake and complete this re-profiling job. This is a legitimate transaction. By this letter, I am offering to have you manage the funds in a lucrative and profitable investment in any country of your choice.
I propose that you will be compensated with a well deserve percentage of the total amount for your anticipated "management consultation invoiced charges", for all your efforts and assistances in re-profile this funds appropriately. This depends if I am able to reach terms with you. The size of the investment we are looking at must be large as our capital base is relatively and quite huge amount of fund as I assume that amount would allow us to get started on the right foot.
If you are willing and interested in this vibrant offer of my proposal and life changing opportunity, I hereby no means of prejudice solicit you to write me back by email and provide me with your full contact details or company profile including your private telephone number. In your response, I will send you an elaborate proposal and details of this offer. (firstname.lastname@example.org) +27 78 479 6857.
Note and very crucial, please keep this proposal very confidential as we cannot afford any disclosure in the public domain. If you do have and question or concerns, do not hesitate to ask me and whatever your decision, Write me back. I look forward to it.
Mr. Simon Adams.