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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "Zimbabwe" 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.
- 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: Christopher Lumka <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2014 11:46:38 +0200
Subject: MUTUAL BUSINESS COLLABORATION.
From:Mr. Christopher Lumka
Republic Of South Africa.
MUTUAL BUSINESS COLLABORATION.
You may be surprised to receive this mail from me since you do not
know me personally. I am Mr. Christopher Lumka the first son of Mr.
Joseph Lumka who was murdered in the land dispute in Zimbabwe. I got
your contact through network online hence I decided to write you, to
seek for your co- operation, assistance and understanding. Before the
death of my father, he had taken me to Johannesburg to deposit the sum
of US$18.5M (Eighteen Million five Hundred Thousand United States
Dollar), in one of the private security company, as if he foresaw the
looming danger in Zimbabwe. This money was concealed in a box but
described to the security company as family valuables for economic and
This amount was meant for the purchase of new machines and chemicals
for the farms and establishment of new farm in Swaziland. This land
problem came when Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe introduced a new
Land Act reform which wholly affected the rich white farmers and some
few black farmers. And this resulted to the killing and mob action by
Zimbabwean war veterans and some political tugs belonging to the
In fact, lot of people were killed because of this land reformed Act
for which my father was one of the victims. It is against this
background that, I and my family who are currently staying in South
Africa decided to transfer my father's money to a foreign account
since the law of South Africa prohibits a refugee (asylum seeker) to
open any bank account or to be involved in any financial transaction.
As the eldest son of my father, I am saddle with the responsibility of
seeking for a genuine foreign account where this money could be
lodged/ transferred without the knowledge of my government who are
bent on taking everything we have got. The South African government
seems to be playing along with them. I am faced with the dilemma of
investing this amount of money in South Africa for fear of going
through the same experience in future since both countries have
similar political history. Moreover, the South African Foreign
Exchange Policy does not allow such investments for political
refugees. I am entrusting my future and that of my family in your
hands, I must let you know that this transaction is risk free.
We intend to use this money for investment in your country. We have
two options for you; firstly you can choose to have a certain
percentage of the money for nominating your account for this
transaction. Or you can go into a partnership with us for proper
profitable investment of the money in your country according to your
directives. Whichever of the options you want feel free to notify me?
We have also mapped out 5% of this money for all kinds of expenses we
might incur in the process of this transaction. If you do not prefer
partnership I am willing to give you 15% of the money while the
remaining 80% will be for my family's investment in your country.
Contact me on my Telephone number +27-73-960-4135 or my private mail
box firstname.lastname@example.org .while I implore you to maintain the
absolute secrecy required in this transaction. Best regards while
looking forward to receiving your reply as soon as you receive this
Mr. Christopher Lumka.
(For the Family)