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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Grace Mugabe <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 16:58:09 +0700
Subject: READ WITH JOY
I am sorry to inconvenience you by sending this short mail to you for
seeking your assistance. Before I forge ahead, I must explain my self to
you to enable both of us to know each other better.
Mr Robert Mugabe former president of Zimbabwe was my late Husband. I am
Mrs Grace Mugabe, I am a widow woman since my husband died at the aged
of 95 in a private hospital in Singapore.
Before my late husband died he deposited the sum of $9.800.000.00 USD in
one of the reliable and trusted bank in Thailand Asia, for family
investment purpose, which I have inherited as the next of kin.
I need you great urgent assistance now to invest the fund in your
country through your directives as a citizen.
What I need from you, is for you to stand on my behalf to claim and
receive this fund from Thailand.
I have a lot to explain to you but show me your intention first by
replying my mail to you, On your confirmation of this message and
indicating your interest, I will furnish you with more details.
Kindly reply back, I will explain more better to you.
Mrs Grace Mugabe