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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "confidential business" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is highly 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)
- 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. G M. Mandela" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:58:03 +0200
Subject: Business Inquiry
With due respect, I apologize for this unsolicited message, I am aware that
this is certainly not a conventional way of approaching an unknown person
for establishment of project and investment.
But I respectfully insist you read my message carefully before you either
take a decision of proceeding or deleting the message as I am optimistic it
will be successful for unimaginable financial benefit for both of us.
I am Mrs. Graca Machel Mandela the wife of South African icon and freedom
fighter late Nelson Rotlatla Mandela, The former President of South Africa
from 1994 till 1999 who died on December 5, 2013 after a protracted lung
infection contacted during his 27th years of incarceration in robin island
I managed to get your contact details online here in Johannesburg South
Africa in my desperate search for a trustworthy person to assist me in this
confidential business transaction.
As the Third wife of late Nelson Mandela, he deposited cash in a trust
account on my name here in south Africa for self keeping, he did this
because he knew that upon his death his lioness X-wife Winnie Mandela might
use all her structural contacts within the AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS [ANC]
to deny me what is due to me as his wife who looked after him all this
period he has been on sick bed.
As his instinct pre-informed him, his fears is ongoing because as a
Mozambiquean all the family members have swooped on me, Insisting that I
should hand over the asset to them and good a thing that when my late
husband deposited the money into the trust fund account, we used my sons
name Mr. Malengani Machel, who is currently living here in Johannesburg
South Africa for security reason.
My late husband Nelson Mandela, deposited US$60.5 MILLIONS (Sixty Millions,
Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in cash in a bank here in
South Africa through diplomatic channel. Now after his death, I and my son
being in Johannesburg, decided to transfer this money out of South Africa
for my family use since it is the only confidential thing we benefited.
I have relinquished and waved most of his assets /estate willed to me as
we are married in community of property for the interest of peace .
This is genuine and not of a criminal origin. I must then emphasize that
this transaction is highly confidential and is to be kept as such,
therefore indicate your full interest on assurance of trust, so that we can
actualize this great opportunity together and share the benefit by the help
of God. And in the case you are not interested in helping me, please kindly
delete the message immediately from your email. But if interested do
provide me with your full names and private phone.
Mrs. Graca Machel
4th Street Houghton Estates
Johannesburg South Africa
Phone: No +27 73 168 7979