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:
- "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)
- ",500,000" (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 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: "Dr. Mathew Zikalala" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 22:59:34 +0200
Subject: My Greetings.
From: Dr. Mathew Zikalala (Chief Operating Officer) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org=
u Telephone: +27837279295 Date: 24/09/2020 Hello, My Name is Dr. Mathew Zik=
alala the Chief Operating Officer of Standard Bank of South Africa and I am=
in need of a reliable foreigner to carry out this important deal. An accou=
nt was opened in my bank by one of my customer in the name of MR. THOMAS BA=
HIA a Dutch National from Germany who made a fixed deposit of $11,500,000.0=
0 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and never s=
how up again and I later discovered that he died with his entire family mem=
bers on a plane crash that occurred in Libya on the 12th of May 2010 and be=
low is a link for your view.. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/world/middl=
eeast/13libya.html Now I want to present a foreigner as next of kin to late=
Thomas so we can make the claim and you can contact me if you are interest=
ed so I can give you more detailed information about this transaction. For =
the sharing of the money will be shared in the ratio of 50% for me, 40% for=
you and 10% to cover our expenses after the deal. Now the total amount to =
be transferred is $12.2 million because of the interest the fund has accumu=
lated since 2010. Thanks. Dr. Mathew Zikalala.=20