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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Greg@corp.medallia.com, Osborn@corp.medallia.com,
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2019 04:09:23 -0800
Subject: IMPORTANT EMAIL
Dear Friend, It is with trust and sincerity that I approach you for assista=
nce to transfer some funds into your bank account. Please do accept my apol=
ogy if my mail infringes on your personal ethics. My name is Greg Osborn, a=
Private attorney based here in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa. Hon=
estly it will be my humble pleasure if we can work together. I would like y=
ou to act as the next of kin to my deceased client Mr. Glenn Warrington, an=
American citizen who made a deposit of TWENTY THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED T=
HOUSAND DOLLARS with a Bank here in Johannesburg. He died in car accident o=
n the 20th of November 2016 without any registered next of kin. Several eff=
orts were made to find his extended family through your embassy without suc=
cess. I have received official letter from the bank suggesting a likely pro=
ceeding for confiscation of the Fund in line with existing laws by the bank=
in which my client deposited the sum of TWENTY THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED =
THOUSAND DOLLARS . According to the Government Law here, at the expiration =
of 5 years the fund will revert to the ownership of the South African Gover=
nment, if nobody applies to claim the fund. My proposition to you is to pre=
sent you to the bank as the Next of kin to my late client so that the bank =
will pay this TWENTY THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS to you as =
his beneficiary so that we can share the amount on a mutually agreed percen=
tage of 60% for me 40% for you. All legal documents to back up your claim w=
ill be provided by me. All I require is your honest cooperation to enable u=
s see this transaction through. I will also guarantee you that this will be=
executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any bre=
ach of the law here or in your country. If you are interested in this trans=
actions, Please do contact me so that I can give you comprehensive details =
on how to proceed. Your immediate response will be highly appreciated. Rega=
rds and God bless Advocate Greg Osborn Principal Attorney: Richard & Co Ass=
ociates. Direct Telephone: +27 616 846 950