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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "MADIKIZELA MANDELA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2014 08:53:22 +0000
Subject: HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
HOW ARE YOU TODAY?
MY NAME IS MRS WINNIE MADIKIZELA MANDELA.
I AM THE SECOND WIFE OF MY LATE BELOVED HUSBAND NELSON MANDELA THE FORMER S=
OUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT WHO IS KNOWN WORLD WIDE. WE ARE MARRIED FOR 33 YEARS=
AND GOD BLESSED US WITH 2 KIDS. I WAS BORN ON 26TH SEPTEMBER 1936 IN MBONG=
WENI TRANSKEI IN EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA. I HAVE HELD THE POSITION OF AN=
C (AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS) POLITICAL ACTIVIST. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND=
I AM IN POSSESSION OF US$45 MILLION DOLLARS WHICH CAME TO ME AS AN OVER INF=
LATED CONTRACTS AWARDED BY MY LATE HUSBAND NELSON MANDELA.
THIS FUND IS CURRENTLY UNDER INSURANCE HERE IN MY COUNTRY WITH THE STANDARD=
BANK OF SOUTH AFRICA
I HAVE RESOLVED GIVEN OUT 10% PERCENT OF THIS FUND WHICH HAS BEEN RECKONED =
TO BE 4.5MILLION USD TO CHARITY AND GIVE OUT 25% WHICH IS 11.5MILLION USD T=
O ANY ONE WHO WILL HELP ME TO FIRST TRANSFER IT OUT OF MY COUNTRY FOR INVES=
TMENTS. IF ALSO YOU HAVE GOOD BUSINESS IDEAS ON ANY LUCRATIVE INVESTMENTS T=
HAT WILL PRODUCE ENOUGH PROFIT, IT IMPLIES THAT I WILL ALSO MAKE YOU MY INV=
THERE HAS BEEN AN ONGOING REVIEW OF CONTRACTS SINCE THE DEATH MY HUSBAND NE=
LSON MANDELA. AND IF THIS FUND IS DISCOVERED IN MY POSSESSION THE THE PRESE=
NT GOVERNMENT MAY DEEM IT AS PART OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS WHICH I AM AFRAID THA=
T ALL MY EFFORTS TOWARDS SECURING THIS FUND WILL BE ABORTIVE.
IF YOU ARE READY TO COOPERATE WITH ME IN ALL RAMIFICATIONS PLEASE GET BACK =
TO ME AND I WILL SEND YOU THE BANK INFORMATION FOR YOU TO TAKE IT UP FROM T=
HERE FOR THE TRANSFER PROCESS.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO KEEP EVERYTHING REGARDING MY COMMUNICATIONS WITH YOU CON=
FIDENTIAL INCLUDING EVERYTHING REGARDING THIS TRANSACTION/FUND UNTIL THE TR=
ANSFER IS SUCCESSFULLY FINALIZED INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.
FOR MORE INFO ABOUT ME AND MY MARRIAGE HISTORY WITH MY LATE HUSBAND NELSON =
MANDELA YOU MAY LOG ON THE FOLLOWING SITE=201D
DO NOT CALL OR WRITE TO THE CONTACT INFORMATION ON THE WEB AS IT IS
FREQUENTLY MONITORED. PLEASE KEEP THIS TRANSACTION STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
YOURS TRULY, MRS WINNIE MADIKIZELA MANDELA