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.
- 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)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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. Thulani Mambo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2022 09:18:35 -0800
Subject: Interest you to know.
My Name is Thulani Mambo a top Bank Officer with First Investment Chartered Bank of South Africa and I am in need of a reliable foreigner to carry out this important deal.
An account was opened in my bank by one of my customers a Dutch National from Germany who made a fixed deposit of $11,100,000.00 (Eleven Million, One hundred Thousand United States Dollars) and never show up again and I later discovered that he died with his entire family members on a plane crash that occurred in Libya on the 12th of May 2010 which I can give you a link to that crash if you care.
Since nobody is coming for this fund or knows about this fund I want to present a foreigner like you as next of kin to my late client so we can make the claim and you can contact me if you are interested 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 accumulated for some recent time.
Please keep this absolutely confidential and tell me if you are interested but I can assure you 100% risk free as I know how to go about it.
Waiting for your urgent reply and call.