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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "million 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 orphan 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: "David Beki" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2012 12:26:42 +0200
Subject: INVITATION FOR PARTNERSHIP
From: Mr. David Beki
Personal contact number.
+27 82 501 7023
INVITATION FOR PARTNERSHIP
With due respect, trust and humility, I write to you this proposal,
which I believe would be of great interest to you. I Am looking for a
reliable and capable foreign partner that will assist my family and I
to transfer fund to his personal or company account and for investment
purposes. I am Mr. David Beki the son of Late Mr. Marcus Beki, who was
the "Chairman" of the farmer's co-operation in Zimbabwe.
My Father was among the people that were murdered in cold blood by the
President Robert Mugabe Administration during the land dispute that
just happened in Zimbabwe.
After the death of my Parents, we decided to move out of ZIMBABWE
because our lives were in danger because of the money that my father
kept in a safe with a Security and Finance Company in South Africa.
The amount contained in the safe is US$36.Million (Thirty Six Million
United States Dollars)
This money was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals
for the farms and establishment of new farms in Swaziland. We moved to
South Africa to enquire about the safe deposit box with the security
company which was deposited as family valuables pending when we see
somebody that will assist us, for the safety of our lives.
We are presently in South Africa as Refugee (Asylum Seekers) and as
such the law of South Africa does not permit us to operate or open any
bank account here in South Africa or be involved in any financial
transaction with the bank. That is why we contacted you to assist us
in this transaction.
We are ready to give you 30% of the total amount for the
inconveniences this may cost you and for accepting to assist us,
contact me on the above telephone. Indicating your interest as soon as
possible, on receiving of your acceptance, I shall be glad to give you
more clarification on the modalities needed for the smooth successful
completion of this transaction. Call me for more details +27 82 501
I anticipate your quick response
MR. David Beki
(For and on Behalf of the Family)