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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Graca Machel mandela <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:58:07 +0000
Subject: JUST TO THANK YOU.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and your family? I hope this mail meets you in a perfect condition.
You may not understand why this mail came to you. But if you
do not remember me, you might have received an email from me in the past regarding the $60.5 Million transfer proposal which we never concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that the transfer has been concluded with another person who financed it to a logical conclusion.
I thank you for your great effort to our unfinished transaction of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you. But I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund out of the bank here in South Africa to my new partner's account in China that was capable of assisting me in this great venture.
Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed during the course of the transaction I want to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $850,000.(Eight hundred and Fifty thousand United States dollars). I have left an international bank Cheque for you worth $850,000 .My dear friend I want you to contact Mr. Simpiwe K. Tshabalala of the Standard bank of South Africa In Johannesburg South Africa to let you receive your fund.
I have authorized him to release the fund to you as soon as you contact him regarding this issue. At the moment, I am here in United Kingdom for my medical treatment which i do not know when i will be going back to South Africa because after my medical treatment here in London I will be going to Australia but that will be when international Flights will be operational again because of the Covid -19 pandemic. Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Also comply with Mr. Simpiwe k.Tshabalala so that he will let you receive your money without any delay, contact him on the below address and call him also on the telephone number below:
Name: Simpiwe Kenneth Tshabalala
Address: Johannesburg Standard bank South Africa.
Do contact him immediately and receive your money urgently. Thank you for putting in effort to assist me and keeping things very confidential despite not concluding the transfer with you. God bless you.
Mama Graca Machel Mandela.