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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. A.S Muazu"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2020 17:46:57 +0200
Subject: Revalidating Payments
HEAD OFFICE Nedbank Group Limited - Sandton 135 Rivonia Road, Sandown=
, 2196 South Africa. International dialing Tel: +27 739 775 257 Interna=
tional dialing Fax: +27 86 537 9138 Email: email@example.com =
Dear Sir, I am Mr. A.S Muazu, the Foreign Operations Director of NedB=
ank Group of South Africa. There is presently a counter claim on your fund =
by one MR. JOHN RAMIREZ, who told us that you are dead, and that you instru=
cted him to claim your US$15.5M while you were sick in the hospital. The qu=
estion is; 1. Are you really bedridden as claimed by Mr., John Rami=
rez? If NO, please reply to this letter ASAP. If after 3 banking days we do=
n't hear from you, we will then accept Mr. Ramirez's claim and remit the fu=
nd to him accordingly. 2. Did you sign any Deed of Assignment with M=
R. JOHN RAMIREZ thereby making him the current beneficiary? If No, Please c=
ontact us immediately for a counter-check of the below submitted bank detai=
ls by Mr. Ramirez; MR JOHN RAMIREZ, AC/NUMBER: 6503809428. ROUTING/12=
2006743, B/NAME: CITI BANK, ADDRESS: NEW YORK, USA, We shall proceed to =
issue all payments details to the said MR. JOHN RAMIREZ, if we do not hear =
from you within the next 3 working days from today. Thanks, S=
incerely, Mr. A S Muazu. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Direct Tel: +27 734 =
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