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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "foreign payment department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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: tony nkosi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2021 10:19:04 +0000
Subject: from tony
My name is Mr.tony nkosi, I am the auditor and head of computing department of a bank here in South Africa . There is an account opened in this bank in 2006 and since my inception into office in 2007, nobody has operated on this account again.
I have the courage to look for a reliable and honest person who will be capable for this important transaction. The owner of this money is Late Mr.Mutassim Billah Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gadafi of Libya; He was captured by anti-Gadafi forces later killed along with his father. No other person knows about this money or anything concerning his account and the account has no next of kin and my investigation further proved to me that his family and his country does not know anything about this account. In order to transfer out 50,000,000.00 (fifty Million United States Dollars) after going through some old files, I discovered that if i do not remit this money out urgently, it will be forfeited for nothing. Please respond immediately I will use my position and
influence to effect the legal approval and onward transfer of this fund into your account with appropriate clearance from foreign payment department.
You will stand to get 30% while 5% will be for the expense that will be encore during the process, and 65% will be for me.
I will fill you in with further details upon your reply
+ 27 733640355
e mail email@example.com
Mr tony nkosi