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)
- "with absolute secrecy" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: MR LARRY DUBE <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2021 22:50:42 +0200
Subject: WARMEST GREETINGS
Greetings to you ,
PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT TRANSFER ASSISTANCE
I do foresee the surprise this letter will bring to you but be assured that
it comes with the best of intentions. Please treat with absolute secrecy
This is an urgent proposal regarding a Fixed Deposit of US$35.5 MILLION
(THIRTY FIVE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS)
deposited in the bank by our client late Mr. Andrew Stapleton. He went on a
vacation with his entire family to Libya and unfortunately they were aboard
the Afriqiyah Airways A330-200 Airbus that crashed in Libya, killing 93
passengers and 11 crew on board as it tried to land at Tripoli airport
Libya. Please see the link below for more info about the air crash:
I seek your consent to present you as the sole beneficiary of the deceased
for future claim of the said fund. Please email me with your details below
Full names, Age, country and Direct telephone number only to enable me
furnish you with adequate information in regards to this claim.
Thanks for your time as I look forward to your timely and positive reply.
Mr. Larry Dube.
Personal Relations Officer
First Rand Bank of South Africa.
Private Mobile Number - + 27 73 159 0672
Email Address - firstname.lastname@example.org