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:
- "million dollars" (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 next of kin scam.
- 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: "Joao Savimbi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:44:26 -0700
Subject: Please is Confidential.
How are you today?
I got your contact through an email directory and decided to contact you for assistance. I am the first son of Jonas Savimbi, the leader of UNITA rebel in Angola who was shot dead on the 25th of February 2002, by the opposing Angolan Army.
Whereas, before the death of my father, he deposited the sum of Eighteen million dollars ($18,000, 000.00) only in a finance/security Company in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. My father handed all the legal documents for the deposit to me in trust and for safe keeping for the family. Also, after the death of my father, my family and I fled to Durba-South Africa where we are currently living on political asylum home.
However with the recent development of xenophobia in Durban South Africa made my mother and the rest of our family that you should fly down to Malaysia and make an urgent arrangement with someone who can help us to invest the funds abroad and we will come over to settle in his country since South Africa is no longer safe for us stay. Please view this for your perusal; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47765863
Please, take a look at this
So, i want you to help me make claims of this fund ($18M) from the Finance/security Company in Malaysia as can come down to Malaysia and we meet face to face and arrange on how we can transfer the funds as you will stand as my family Beneficiary and transfer the money to your nominate account or any preferred account of your choice.
Whereas after the transfer, I can then get Visa for my old mother to fly down from south Africa to your country for mutual sharing and investment of the money. However, my family has agree to give you 35%, for your anticipated assistance and 60% would be for us (my family) and the remaining 5%would be set aside for any expenses that we may incur during the course of this transaction.
Nevertheless, my family share of 60% would be invested in your country in any profitable business proposed by you. We believed that we can only accept to work with you only when you can come down to Malaysia and see things for yourself as seeing is believing! Please, treat this as Confidential and reply to my email: email@example.com