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.
- 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.
- 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: "Mr. Eric Thompson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2021 08:32:39 -0700
Subject: CONTRACT OFFER PLEASE!!!!!!!
I am working with the director of the finance and supply ministry of minerals and energy here in South Africa.
Tender board recently awarded a contract for the supply of computers to higher institutions of learning within the provinces in South Africa. This project was sponsored by the world bank education project, worth over USD$500 million under the universal basic education scheme however, the contract was over invoiced in the excess of USD$25 million.
This contractor has been paid and the outstanding surplus amount of USD$25 million is still unclaimed at the Absa bank of South Africa.
This fund is ripe and ready to be transferred abroad, therefore if you are willing to collaborate with me and my boss in order to move the fund to your account abroad feel free to contact me so that we can negotiate the process of the transfer and also the sharing formula. The nature of your job does not matter in this deal.
Mr. Eric Thompson
Tel: +27 748 204 139
Fax: +27 864 592 973