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:
- "please indicate your interest" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. AISHA ELTAYEB IDRIS." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2019 09:29:07 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: PLEASE WE NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE HELP
MRS. AISHA ELTAYEB IDRIS.
PLEASE WE NEED YOUR IMMEDIATE HELP
I am MRS. AISHA ELTAYEB IDRIS from the Republic of Sudan, the wife to Late BRIGADIER BOUKARE ELTAYEB IDRIS, the former Garrison Brigade Commander in Sudan. I got your contact through LinkedIn on line from Sudanese Information Exchange (SIE), during the process of searching for a reliable BUSINESS PARTNER to help my family with Cash worth of US$25.5 MILLION (TWENTY FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)
This money is owned by my late husband in exchange to the purchase of arms from South Africa, for the SUDAN PEOPLES LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SPLM) Military Wing before his untimely death caused by the unpleasant situation in my Country. As the news of the peace agreement reached my husband while he was in South Africa for the Arms deal, he took advantage of the opportunity and deposited the Cash with a security company name withheld for security reasons, I will furnish you with all details as soon as the transaction commences.
If you agree to assist my family investing this money into a profitable business venture in your country or any other country of your choice; I shall give you 20% of the total amount, 5% will be set aside to offset all expenses incurred in the course of this transaction and the remaining 75% will be for my familyâs investment in your country. If you accept to partnership with us, please indicate your interest by contacting my only son in South Africa via the details below
MR MOHAMED ELTAYEB IDRIS
EMAIL ADDRESS- email@example.com
PHONE NUMBER- + 27 78 951 0217
Although I am not feeling too well as at this moment and please also provide him with your Personal Profile & private telephone and mobile numbers for easier communication, and he will give you a comprehensive detail on how this transaction would be accomplished without any hitch. Now that the war has ended, we will be pleased to invest this money in your Country, with your help.
Thanks in anticipation to your co-operation.
MRS. AISHA ELTAYEB IDRIS.
(FOR THE FAMILY)