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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contract award committee" (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: Mr Costa Willams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Ricardo Allison <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2020 09:07:22 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: FROM RICARDO ALLISON(BUSINESS DEAL AND MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING)
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES
SANDTON TOWERS, JOHANNESBURG
P.M.B. 12701 SOUTH AFRICA
FROM THE DESK OF:
Mr. Ricardo Allison M.sc
(Manager 14 Project Allocation)
Contact me on Private Email: email@example.comCONFIDENTIAL
I am a member of the contract award committee and 14 project allocation manager, of the Department of Minerals and Natural Resources in South Africa; I am in search of an agent to assist me in the transfer of (USD35M) and subsequent investment in properties in your country. You will be required to.
(1) Assist in the transfer of the said funds(2) Advise on lucrative areas for investment(3) Assist me in purchase of properties.
If you decide to render your service to me in this regard, 50% of the total sum of USD35M will be for you and 50% will be for me. Thank you and God bless, as I wait in anticipation of your fullest co-operation.
On acceptance of this email,Kindly send to me your full names and private phone number so that we can talk over the phone.
Mr. Ricardo Allison.
N.B: Please endeavor to send me a response via my Confidential email address (above) for further details.