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)
- "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.
- +27724174971 (South Africa, prepaid mobile phone)
Fraud email example:
From: theresa joseph <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 00:00:36 +0000
Subject: From Mr. Joseph Luza.
FROM: MR.JOSEPH LUZA/MRS. THERESA LUZA
A PLEA FOR ASSISTANCE.
Good day and how are you, family and work? This might be a surprise to you about where I got your contact address, it was through South African Chamber of Commerce online networking. But all the same, I believe we do not need to be of blood relatives before we can establish cordial relationship. Having said this, I think it is very important at this juncture to introduce myself to you and also disclose to you, how I came in contact with your mail address/profile. My name is MR. JOSEPH LUZA, the elder son of late of MR. JERRY LUZA, of Masingo Province of Zimbabwe . During the current war against the farmers in Zimbabwe from the ZANU PF supporters of our President Robert Mugabe, to claim all the white-owned farms to his party members and followers, he ordered all white farmers to surrender all their farms and Lands to ZANU PF members.
My father was one of the richest farmers in our country and because he did not support President Mugabe's ideas, ZANU - PF members invaded our farmlands and burnt everything in the farms, killing my father, my younger brother, and niece and made away with a lot of items. For more details visit the sites below:
Before his untimely death, he made it known to me that he deposited with a private Security Company in South Africa the sum of US$20.5 Million (Twenty Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) under my name as Family Valuables. Then after my father's death, we decided to move to SOUTH AFRICA where he had deposited the money. And because we are [Refugee] Asylum seekers, we are not allowed to operate any bank transaction. I have spent months in trying to get an overseas reliable contact, It is worthy to note that people are unreliable these days and even derive joy in telling lies but we are Christians, pure, truthful and with a genuine heart.
On this ground I request your unreserved but sincere cooperation devoid of greed in carrying out this transaction so that no one amongst both of us shall defraud or cheat each other at the end. This money I intend to use for investment I have two options for you; firstly you can choose to have certain percentage of the money for nominating your account for this transaction and direction for investment in your country or you can go into partnership with us for the proper profitable and judicious investment of the money in your country. Whichever the options you want, feel free to notify us we have also mapped out 5% of this money for all kinds of expenses incurred in the process of this transaction. If you do not prefer a partnership we are willing to give you 20% of the money while the remaining 75% will be for our investment and stay in your country.
Contact us with the above e-mail and telephone number while we implore you to
maintain the absolute secrecy required in this transaction.
Thanks and God bless you.
Mr. Joseph Luza & Mrs. Thereza Luza,
[For the family].