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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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: deon brand <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Nov 2020 20:02:27 +0200
Telephone: +27834985293Email:email@example.com CONFIDENTIAL PROPOSALHello, My Name is Mr Mike Dubbe the Chief Operating Officer of StandardBank of South Africa and I am in need of a reliable foreigner to carry outthis important deal.An account was opened in my bank by one of my customer in the name of MR.THOMAS BAHIA a Dutch National from Germany who made a fixed deposit of$11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United StatesDollars) and never show up again and I later discovered that he died withhis entire family members on a plane crash and below is the link to thecrash. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/world/middleeast/13libya.html NowI want to present a foreigner as next of kin to late Thomas so we can makethe claim because if nobody makes the claim, the fund will be taken by theGovernment as unclaimed funds and it will be stolen by Government corruptofficials and that I do not want to happen and you can contact me if youare interested so I can give you more detailed information about thistransaction.ThanksMr Mike Dubbe.