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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Caleb Murerwa" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 2019 21:17:40 +0200
Subject: From Mr. Caleb AND Miss Rosemary Murerwa
>From Mr. Caleb AND Miss Rosemary Murerwa
Phone Number: +27 717 782 0755
We are here with our mother and our younger ones meanwhile we got your name in our search for a foreign partner who will help us as we and our mother status as refugee cannot allow us to transfer our money. Please accept our apology if this e-mail is embarrassing as you don't know us.
Our mother and we are in need of urgent assistance. I the son and my sister ROSEMARY MURERWA, the Daughter of Sir, and Herbert Murerwa, of Zimbabwe. During the current crises against farmers in Zimbabwe and from the support of our president ROBERT MUGABE to claim all the white owned farms in our country. All the white farmers were ordered to surrender their farms to his party members. Our father who was one of the best farmers in our country did not support his idea. And so the party members invaded my father's farms and burnt everything in the farm, and our father was beaten up by this evil men and made away with a lot of properties in our father's farm company And the tension was so much on him he was rushed to a SPECIALIST HOSPITAL in South Africa along with us and our mother and our junior ones we move out of Zimbabwe because our lives were in danger.
And after much distress our beloved father died here in South Africa. But before then, our father handed over to our mother a proof of deposit slip/Agreement and some documents which was made between him and A VERY RELIABLE FINANCIAL SECURITY COMPANY here in South Africa on which he deposited the sum of$30 MILLION (THIRTY MILLION UNITED STATES OF AMERICA DOLLAR) This money was raised by his farmer's group for the purchasing of farming equipment/machinery before the land dispute Rose. So we decided to make contact with an overseas person, who will assist us to transfer this money out of South Africa, we want to be there in your country. We are here as refugee and our status don't allow us to stand for the fund for transfer, we will like you to stand as our father's beneficiary, and with the help of our father's financial attorney this transfer is going to be fast and easy.
Note that for your time and help 35% of this fund is yours and 5% of the fund is for any expenses incurred both locally and internationally in the course of this transfer and the remaining 60% is for our family to start up business in your country with your support.
When you reply we will tell you things you need to do.
THANKS AND GOD BLESS YOU
Mr. Caleb AND Miss Rosemary Murerwa
(FOR THE FAMILY